VIDEO: Mammograms are still safe despite COVID-19 pandemic

People who need a screening mammogram should schedule their appointment before their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or at least four weeks after receiving their second vaccine dose.
[courtesy Duke Health]

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We will be posting features every day here at OBX Today ranging from inspiring stories from those who have battled breast cancer, information on screening and prevention, to details about services and support organizations right here on the Outer Banks.

In 2021, estimates 281,550 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer — 43,600 will die from the disease.

But early detection is a key in preventing those numbers from becoming a reality. And despite the COVID-19 resurgence, radiologists remind women they can safely get mammograms – but there are steps they and their providers need to take.

Stamatia V. Destounis, MD, FACR, Chief of the American College of Radiology® Breast Imaging Commission and a breast imaging radiologist and partner/owner at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Care in Rochester, New York, joined us this week to talk more about staying on top of breast health during the pandemic.

She is Chair of Clinical Research and Medical Outcomes at EWBC and the Immediate Past Chair of the ACR Breast Economics Committee and Current Chair of the ACR Breast MRI Accreditation Committee.

Dr. Destounis has authored multiple chapters in radiology education textbooks, and hundreds of articles published in a variety of peer-reviewed scientific journals. She has given over 1,000 lectures to community physicians and women’s support groups, and also nationally and internationally to radiologists at prestigious breast imaging conferences. She has several research interests that include Digital Breast Tomosynthesis, breast MRI for high-risk patients, risk assessment/genetics implementation and screening breast ultrasound.

Dr. Destounis and her group were pioneers in implementation of digital mammography in the year 2000 at their breast center, transitioning from film early on, instituted a breast MRI program and implemented a Genetics program in 2003, also spearheading transition to DBT in their area in 2011. Since that time, she has continued to teach and educate on the benefits of screening and how to embrace the new breast cancer screening technology techniques locally and nationally.

She earned her medical degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University before completing a residency in diagnostic radiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Destounis went on to complete a fellowship in breast imaging at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic in 1993.