Superior HealthPlan Urges Breast Cancer Screenings after Delays Due to COVID-19

·3 min read

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As healthcare facilities across Texas resume scheduling routine appointments and screenings, Superior HealthPlan is reminding communities of the importance of preventive healthcare. In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Superior encourages people to schedule their annual mammograms for early detection of breast cancer and risk factors.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, providers across Texas have postponed routine mammogram appointments and other non-essential healthcare services for precautionary reasons. Combined with concerns about the safety of healthcare facilities, the number of mammograms performed has dropped drastically since 2019, falling by 29% during the pandemic1.

"National Breast Cancer Awareness Month serves as an important reminder to those in need of a mammogram to contact their physician for support," said Dr. David Harmon, Chief Medical Director at Superior. "Even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, early detection and treatment is essential in the fight against breast cancer, and we want to encourage everyone to get the care they need."

In 2019, 18,000 Texas women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 3,200 died from it, making it the second most common cause of cancer death in Texas women2. Women older than 40 should consider beginning annual breast cancer screenings with mammograms, and potentially earlier if they have a family history of breast cancer3.

While in-person visits are the only way to receive a mammogram, providers, hospitals and health clinics across Texas have been regularly updating safety procedures to help avoid coronavirus transmission. Throughout the pandemic, healthcare workers have continued to use personal protective equipment to safeguard themselves and patients, so patients can feel comfortable in scheduling necessary in-person appointments.

To prepare for an in-person visit, Superior encourages people to take steps that can further help protect themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are a few safety steps that can help the entire family prepare for in-person visits:

  • Before scheduling a doctor appointment, call the clinic or check its website to find out what is being done to keep people safe during the pandemic.

  • Follow standard precautions during the doctor visit: wear a face mask, wash hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, and cover mouth while coughing or sneezing.

  • Practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others (this may be indicated by markings on the floor).

  • Avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, elevator surfaces and touchpads. Be mindful of the surfaces young children touch or use.

Superior can help members connect with their primary care physician, either through telehealth or in-person visits. Members can use the "Find a Provider" tool or call Superior at 1-800-783-5386. For more about Superior's services and benefits, visit www.SuperiorHealthPlan.com.

About Superior HealthPlan
Founded in 1999, Superior HealthPlan is a managed care company that delivers quality health care throughout Texas. Committed to transforming the health of the community, one person at a time, Superior supports active local involvement in all 254 Texas counties with more than 4,000 employees in 9 offices throughout the state. Superior is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise offering both core Medicaid and specialty services. More information on Superior can be found at www.SuperiorHealthPlan.com.

1 https://www.ehrn.org/articles/delayed-cancer-screenings-a-second-look
2 https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/tcr/data/breast-cancer.aspx
3 https://www.cancer.org/healthy/find-cancer-early/cancer-screening-guidelines/american-cancer-society-guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer.html#:~:text=Women%20ages%2040%20to%2044,or%20can%20continue%20yearly%20screening

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SOURCE Superior HealthPlan