MINNESOTA (KTTC) -- During what Sen. Klobuchar says was a routine mammogram, Mayo Clinic Doctors found small white spots. After a biopsy done in February showed Stage 1A breast cancer, Senator Klobuchar underwent surgery and radiation to remove it.
Sen. Klobuchar says treatment has been successful but after delaying her routine physical due to the pandemic, she wants to remind others how important they are.
"The doctors are saying not just for cancer, but they're seeing people much sicker than they would have been if they could come in. And now we know there's so many safety protocols in place for people to go in and get exams, and so that was one reason I thought this is a moment in time we turn the corner on the pandemic to really urge people to get their check-ups and schedule things because it literally saved my life and it can save others as well," stated Sen. Klobuchar.
According to Mayo Clinic Medical Director Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, there has been an uptick in patients pushing back their annual screenings because of COVID-19.
"The other thing that we've seen is when somebody did have a lump, or something new on their breast exam, they would tell me because of the pandemic we thought that we could wait and get it checked out later because there was this concern about going in to go for an evaluation into a clinic because of a lot of the things that were going on with the pandemic and COVID and fears about you know were the clinics open or could they get access to care," said Dr. Pruthi.
Deciding to delay annual check-ups could lead to a later diagnosis, and in the case of cancer, the possibility of spreading.
"It's like with anyone, when you get that first call. It was very scary," said Sen. Klobuchar.
"What we really need to remember is that when you get a cancer diagnosis, you think that all cancers are the same, and they're not. And I always try and set the stage and tell my patients let's understand your specific cancer type. Don't compare it to your bestfriend or something you read on the internet. Focus on what kind you have and then once we understand that biology then we should personalize, individualize the treatment to that cancer type," Dr. Pruthi stated.
Dr. Pruthi does want to remind everyone that sometimes a screening, like a mammogram, cannot detect everything, and if something does feel off with your body to request further testing.