BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Early detection for breast cancer makes all the difference. Unfortunately, many women delayed those routine tests during the pandemic.

“Finding breast cancer early just changes the course of survival,” said Dr. Schultz.

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Dr. Michael Shultz is the Director of Breast Health at Lifebridge with more than 45 years of treating patients in Baltimore.

Understandably, many women held off on their yearly mammograms once the pandemic hit and nationally, there’s been an increase in more serious forms of breast cancers.

“Now, we’re in a sea of advanced breast cancers. We’ll still treat and the majority will do well but they would have done better if they had gotten them done last year,” Dr. Schultz said.

The conversation became a national one when Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar shared that she had also delayed her routine mammogram later to find out she had stage one breast cancer, something that thankfully was very treatable.

“You just don’t know what is lurking there,” said Klobuchar.

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Kelly Hurtt is getting her annual exam with Dr. Schultz.

“I think it’s important for every one woman to be proactive,” said Hurtt.

She urges women to be proactive early on.

“There may be something in the breast that you don’t feel that the mammogram will show up and it’s important to be able to see it ahead of time so that you can basically do preventive measures for it,” said Hurtt.

Lifebridge Health has an annual mammothon coming up on Nov. 10. — an all-day breast cancer screening event with extended hours at multiple locations — no referrals necessary.

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Rachel Menitoff