Health care providers nationwide are witnessing a concerning trend in the declining rates of routine cancer screenings, including those for breast cancer. This means that some people are likely unaware that they need cancer treatment. This is particularly dangerous for people with breast cancer, which can be particularly aggressive. As with other cancers, the survival rate drops significantly as the disease spreads throughout the body.

For Breast Cancer Awareness month, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital is responding to this issue by offering $99 mammograms through the end of October. The goal is to help women stay on top of their breast health regardless of whether their insurance carrier covers annual breast cancer screenings.

To screen people safely during the pandemic, USC-VHH has taken extensive infection prevention measures, including social distancing, universal mask-wearing, constant sanitizing of all services, limiting visitors and health screenings at entrances.

“I want to assure women that we are here to provide the best possible breast care through this pandemic and beyond,” said Mary Yamashita, MD, director of the USC-VHH Breast Center. “Treatment innovations have dramatically improved breast cancer survival, even for women with metastatic breast cancer, but diagnosing the cancer in an early stage when it is easier to treat makes all the difference.”

The USC-VHH Breast Center is equipped with digital 2D and 3D mammography systems for accurate imaging, along with ultrasound and MRI for patients who need them. A multidisciplinary team of specialists collaborates to guide women through the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment processes.

Patients who are interested in scheduling a mammogram at USC-VHH are encouraged to call (818) 952-3557.

— Mary Dacuma Ferguson