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Front Page » Top Stories » Fighting in Breast Cancer Awareness Month to get patients in

Fighting in Breast Cancer Awareness Month to get patients in

Written by on October 26, 2021
  • www.miamitodayepaper.com
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Fighting in Breast Cancer Awareness Month to get patients in

The Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute is encouraging patients to come to the hospital to get their annual screenings that can help diagnose and prevent long-term illnesses early. “We are definitely encouraging people, throughout this month in particular, to come and get screenings,” Yvonne T. Johnson, M.D and chief medical officer at Baptist Health South Miami Hospital said. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so Dr. Johnson is encouraging patients to come have their annual mammogram.

People are waiting until illnesses are more advanced. They have postponed screenings, and it is a significant concern for the Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute, according to Dr. Johnson. “We’re working to get the word out to get those vital screenings. It will catch cancers early to maximize the prognosis.”

“We have a lot of ads encouraging patients to get screenings that used to be on their schedules,” Dr. Johnson said. “Personally, I have been fielding calls from people who are experiencing concern about the emergency department. During the pandemic, we’ve tried to emphasize that we have extreme precautions in effect.” The hospital staff all wear masks and have taken all precautions recommended to avoid Covid. “The hospital is not where you come to catch Covid. It is the safest place I come to every day,” Dr. Johnson said.

“This last surge in July through September showed the efficacy of the vaccine. The vast majority of those hospitalized and those who died were primarily unvaccinated. We are always advocating for patients to get vaccinated.”

During the peak of the last surge in Covid, 20 to 25% of those hospitalized with Covid were in critical care units, specifically at Baptist Health South Miami Hospital, according to Dr. Johnson. “Right now, during the surge decline, most patients in the hospital are in ICU because people are sicker, so they stay longer. The denominator is smaller.”

Dr. Johnson said that the hospital is getting back to a more normal operating schedule. “Elective surgeries are back.” There was a period during the height of the pandemic when elective surgeries were not an option if the surgeon expected the patient to need an ICU bed.

“We want people to know that we are open for elective surgeries and screenings. Colonoscopies, mammograms, examinations for cholesterol and blood pressure,” Dr. Johnson said.

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there is a Baptist Health South pink truck driving to different places in South Florida to deliver facts about breast cancer. There is a QR code printed on the side on the truck so women can use their phones to quickly schedule examinations.

“People are coming back to the cardiac institute and getting those screenings that are maintenance to reduce the risk of heart disease,” Dr. Johnson said. “I have seen a lot of different media and ads going out. There is a lot of outreach into the community to get the necessary screenings. The hospital has never been, in the entirety of the pandemic, the place where people have caught Covid.”

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