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Cancer screening is at an all-time low

September 10, 2021

NCH joins in national study to close the COVID cancer screening gap

One in three Americans will get cancer in their lifetime. Regular cancer screening tests can improve and save your life. In fact, the early detection of breast cancer is critical to preventing mortality. It has helped to decrease the mortality due to breast cancer by an estimated 40% from 1989-2017. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer screening overall is at an all-time low. An estimated 22 million cancer screenings were missed between March and June 2020.

Nurse and Patient before a mammogram
Screening is essential to detect cancer in the earliest stages, when they may be easier to treat

The Commission on Cancer, American Cancer Society and National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers have partnered to develop a national quality improvement and research study entitled, “Return to Cancer Screening PDSA Quality Improvement Project and Clinical Study.” Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) has joined this national study to collaborate to bring breast cancer screening back to pre-pandemic levels and close the screening gap that was created by the pandemic.

Screening is essential to detect precancerous lesions and cancers in their earliest stages, before symptoms appear and when they may be easier to treat. Because of the delays in cancer screening during the pandemic, it’s expected that some cancers will be found at a later a stage and death rates will increase.

Talk to your doctor about resuming care and next steps for cancer screening. Cancer in the early stages may not have symptoms, so getting regular screenings to find cancer early means it may be easier to treat.

For more information about cancer screening at NCH please visit To schedule a mammogram, please call 847-618-3700.

NCH is designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and is an accredited NAPBC Breast Center Program. We provide 3D digital mammography at five locations in four suburbs (Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Kildeer and Schaumburg) and has a High Risk Breast clinic to help patients manage their risk of breast cancer. All have short wait times and same-day results and evening and weekend appointments available. NCH was voted “Best Mammogram Imaging Center” by the Women’s Choice Award.

NCH offers Automated Breast Ultrasound, or ABUS 3D screening, which is the only technology developed and approved by the FDA for screening women with dense breast tissue. Forty percent of women in the U.S. have dense breast tissue, making them more likely to develop breast cancer. Only a radiologist who reviews your mammogram can make the determination that your breasts are dense.