Sheryl Crow urges women not to skip breast cancer screening

Singer songwriter Sheryl Crow has kept herself quite busy over quarantine. She has been helping her sons navigate their online classes and she has been performing live shows via streaming on her website for less than $35 a ticket for her Songs from the Big Green Barn series.

Fourteen years ago Sheryl was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo a lumpectomy and seven weeks of chemotherapy. Her cancer was discovered when she was 44 during a routine annual mammogram. Sheryl has written an essay discussing breast cancer screening during the pandemic. She says that the National Cancer Institute predicts an additional 10,000 cancer related deaths due to people’s inability to get timely screenings due to Covid. Here are a few excerpts:

Through my advocacy work, I was devastated to learn the National Cancer Institute anticipates there could be more than 10,000 additional deaths in our country as a result of delays in breast and colorectal cancer screenings due to COVID-19. In fact, a recent survey, conducted by Hologic, found that 27% of compliant women reported plans to either skip or delay their mammogram in 2020. That’s a problem, because it greatly increases the interval between screenings for those women, which may result in cancer being found later, when it’s harder to treat.

For the majority of women, breast cancer is treatable if caught early. My story is a testament that you can go on to live a long, healthy life after diagnosis. As a breast cancer survivor who credits early detection with saving my life, I have made it part of my life’s mission to help educate women about the importance of scheduling their annual mammograms.

Over a decade ago, during a particularly busy time in my life, I found myself tempted to delay the very mammogram that altered the course of my life and led to my breast cancer diagnosis. I kept my appointment, and since then, there have been countless advancements in breast cancer screening, including the Genius 3D mammography exam, which has been shown to detect more invasive cancers, reduce false positives and is clinically proven superior to 2D mammography for all women, including those with dense breasts.

Shortly after I was diagnosed, I wrote “Make it Go Away.” The song not only speaks to this challenging moment in my life, but it also resonates with how many, including myself, are feeling about this pandemic. Unfortunately, the reality is that we must continue to live with COVID-19 and adjust our lives to limit the spread of this devastating virus. However, there are some things that must continue to take priority during this time, and our long-term health is one of them. If you are due or overdue for a mammogram, I am making a personal request that you reach out to your local healthcare facility today. Ask about the COVID-19 safety precautions they have put in place, then schedule your screening appointment.

[From People]

I’ve been a Sheryl Crow stan since her song, “If It Makes You Happy.” The woman has some serious pipes. I am sad that I did not know that she is a breast cancer survivor as the disease hit close to home for me. My mom’s twin sister was diagnosed with Stage 3 several ago and she survived. It was a scary time in our family as we had lost three people to cancer in the last 8 years leading up to my aunt’s diagnosis.

I will be going next week for a biannual mammogram because I have lumpy breasts and they want to keep an eye on them. I love the fact that Sheryl took the time to write this essay because I think many women especially have delayed their annual check up. As someone who used to work at a cancer hospital as a surgical technologist, I know how fast cancer can spread.

Again, here is another celebrity using their platform to promote women’s health as self care. I love it as I am a big advocate of women taking care of themselves. If you haven’t had your annual breast cancer screening this year, please do so. If you want more information about breast cancer screenings, click here. Other than that, I enjoy how she discuss making mindfulness meditation a part of her daily self care routine. I think we must find things that sparks joy to cope with the anxiety and depression of the times. Hopefully, her essay will get women to their doctors for their routine check ups.

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16 Responses to “Sheryl Crow urges women not to skip breast cancer screening”

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  1. Jo73c says:

    It’s scary that she was only 44 when it was discovered. I’m in the UK – at 47yo I’ve never been offered a mammogram. Unless you’re high risk or find something worrying, I don’t think they do them here until age 50 or 55.

  2. Kealeen says:

    The standard is now 40 for your first mammogram, and that is just wrong. It needs to start at 35. I will be 39 on Monday, and one year ago, I was struggling to muster up all the courage in my body to call my doctor, because I had a lump, and I just knew. It came out of nowhere, all my genetic markers came back clean, but I required a double mastectomy (I chose reconstruction), and am only a few weeks out from finally finishing chemotherapy. When I was diagnosed, my doctor assured me that I didn’t do anything to neglect my health, because I was still two years out from my standard first mammogram, and she said they aren’t even supposed to tell patients to conduct self-exams anymore. I know at least three other people who were diagnosed in their early or mid-30s. It is shameful how our health care system is failing people when it comes to breast and prostate cancer, especially when the environment is an increasing factor with these diseases. I really hope the Moonshot initiative is revived if Joe Biden is elected and takes office. To all my fellow commenters, stay safe and optimistic, but don’t feel afraid or overly paranoid about contacting your doctor if you feel like something is wrong with your body.

  3. Lightpurple says:

    Additionally, do a monthly self exam no matter what your age. If you notice any changes OR if something feels different between your monthly exam, get it checked out immediately. I found my own tumor and it wasn’t there two weeks earlier when I did my self-exam. That I could say so with certainty told my doctors something was wrong. In the week and a half between my mammogram, ultrasound (they couldn’t do them the same day) and lumpectomy, it grew and spread three times.

    • Kealeen says:

      ^^ THIS, and I’m so sorry for your experience; I hope your treatment went well.

    • Jaded says:

      @Lightpurple – I found my tumour too, and again, it just popped out of nowhere. I’d had a mammo 6 months before and it was clear. Self-examination is such a critical part of detection. Like Sheryl, I had a lumpectomy and 8 weeks of chemo and here I am 5 years cancer-free. I hope the same for you too!

  4. JennyJenny says:

    And unbeknownst to most women, not all breast cancers can be found on a mammogram.
    Inflammatory Breast cancer presents with no tumor, it’s invasive throughout the lymphatic system and is the most deadly. When it is found, you’re already at Stage 3.

    I know this because I was diagnosed with this diabolical disease.
    Now I am Stage 4, because it has spread to my bones…

    If you notice any changes to your breasts, dimpling, pain, intense itching, a rash, seek an opinion. A great number of doctors are even unaware of this deadly disease.

  5. Lurkers says:

    Early detection is so important! I was diagnosed with and treated stage 1 breast cancer during chemo. Medical advancements have come so far that my experience with radiation wasn’t too bad either. Grateful that I caught it early enough not to deal with chemo. Now I’m just doing biannual screenings and taking medicine to block hormones. But it’s still very expensive and my out of pocket limit was reached quickly. I can’t imagine the struggle for people with bad insurance.

  6. Teeee says:

    yes! I have been having annual mammograms since I was 30 due to family history. This August, at 43, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and am currently recovering from a double mastectomy … I actually missed my screenings in 2018 and 2019, foolishly; thankfully it was early detection — seemingly I lucked out there…. I want Everyone to get their screenings …. as a society, we just do not place enough emphasis on our wellbeing and it can truly be the difference between life and death. I do appreciate anyone with the voice and platform to use it as Sheryl is doing!

  7. Lunasf17 says:

    Too bad millions of women have no health insurance and/or can’t afford to pay for basic life saving care in the US. At least HMOs are making billions off of us while our citizens die from preventable causes. Great system we have here in the US.

    • Teeee says:

      @Lunasf17 …. I agreee And, I found out during my recent experience that medical assistance has funding allotted specifically for breast cancer (maybe other cancers too?) patients… I literally had my private insurance lapse at midnight of the same day I had my biopsies…. the patient navigator at the hospital here jumped to get my ma app in and, fortunately, it was approved quickly and I was able to have my double mastectomy just weeks later (and no matter changes in my income, health benefits, my care of treatments are covered for life with ma). There are other financial resources as well. It isn’t perfect or ideal, or how I’d like to see our world, but thankfully, there are resources for those of us that struggle financially, are un-insured and otherwise. I’ve been telling everyone because I know I was ignorant of this information and it is incredibly useful and important information to have! 😊

  8. Sonishka says:

    In Slovakia, every woman over 30 gets sent to breast sonogram by her gynecologist as a part of preventative examination. You should go, just as for the annual pap smears. I lived in Australia for 6 years and there s no such thing. I had a displasia of cervical cells diagnosed last year and as these were pre cancerous cells they were surgically removed. I dont want to think about any other scenario that this wouldnt be discovered during a routine procedure as i have a child under 5.