Health officials see increase in patients as people return for yearly exams

Posted at 6:47 PM, Jul 14, 2021

LAFAYETTE — Maggie Daniels was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, five years after doctors removed a lump from her breast.

"As a matter of fact we did a biopsy and a ANCA type test because the biopsy didn't show anything, but the ANCA type test showed I was diagnosed with breast cancer again," Daniels said.

Daniels tells KATC it was her annual mammogram that saved her life.

"We were laughing then she got quiet, I said what's wrong. She said I see something, I was hooked in the machine and she wouldn't let me out until she scheduled me with a doctor upstairs," Daniels said.

According to doctors at Oschner Lafayette General Breast Center, 1 in every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

"When you feel a lump, you react, and I could actually see it," Daniels said.

Throughout the United States, the CDC reported a sharp decline in breast cancer screenings by 87%. For several months in 2020, screenings were postponed because of COVID-19.

"As time went on, we begin to realize we still needed individuals that required additional work ups in, because cancer did not sleep during corona," Medical Director at Oschner Lafayette General Breast Center, Dr. Shaunda Grisby said.

Health officials say they are seeing a rise in patients coming back for their yearly exams and they say the sooner you get checked, the better. Dr. Grisby says about 10% of all women will be called back for a second look after their mammogram. Then about 0.5% of them will have cancer.

The doctor tells KATC, not seeing patients during the pandemic was scary.

"Cancer cells will keep growing things will change in the breast, things change in the body for that matter.Just by not knowing, we don't know how many patients were effected by that truthfully, and how many cancers were postponed, or who over the time where we weren't doing screenings, during times when people weren't comfortable coming into the facility that is a scary time," Dr. Grisby said.

All Oschner facilities across Acadiana are fully re-opened.

As for Daniels, The New Iberia Senior High School secretary known as "Good Morning," says she doesn't let the cancer slow her down.

"I get up every morning with and I smile because I'm blessed, I have a good support system, God is good," Daniels said.