Treating Breast Cancer In
The Time Of Covid
Since Covid-19 struck in March, so many
Bronx residents have been affected that it is
important to recognize and reflect on their
suffering, courage, and fortitude. Families
have persevered faced with the loss of life and
income. The damages are staggering.
During this time, the care and treatment
of breast cancer has been affected significantly
and the problems are ongoing. Fortunately,
women diagnosed before March were
still able to maintain a treatment plan.
Although the operating rooms were closed
from the middle of March to mid-June many
patients were treated with anti-estrogen medication
while awaiting surgery. Luckily, most
of their tumors did not progress, a few even
diminished. Some patients with the more aggressive
disease received chemotherapy. But
cases awaiting reconstruction were canceled.
When the operating rooms reopened more
complex reconstructions were not performed
because of limited O.R. time and lack of available
Certainly, some tumors progressed during
this period augmented by the inability
to obtain routine mammograms and ultrasounds.
During the past six months, many
cancers were not diagnosed because of the
backlog confronting radiologists. Some patients
have been afraid to appear for their
Others experienced symptoms but feared
BRONX TIMES REPORTER,2 OCTOBER 9-15, 2020 BTR
to be evaluated because of COVID.
Currently, most radiologists have worked
to establish a safe environment for patients.
The incidence of COVID in New York City is
quite low. It is safe to be examined and receive
a mammogram. People with other diagnoses
have suffered because of self-imposed delays.
I am encouraging you to go for your
check-ups. At some point, avoidance may be
more dangerous than COVID. The pandemic
will be with us for many months so wear your
masks, social-distance, wash your hands, and
To make an appointment with Dr. Shapiro,
please call New York Cancer & Blood
Specialists at ( 718)-405-0400.
Dr. Nella Shapiro