Wednesday, May 11. 2011
A recent audit of nine New York City Hospitals indicated that some women are waiting up to 148 days for mammograms, according to a report that was published by the New York City Comptroller John C. Liu.
This exorbitant wait goes far beyond the 14-day guideline established by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) and applied to both screening and diagnostic mammograms. This raises a major health concern, as breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths and timely screening can reduce mortality in women by up to 30 percent.
Ana Marengo, a spokeswoman for HHC, claims that the data is not indicative of current conditions and that high-risk patients are screened within 72 hours.
"If there is a lump, if there is a family history, if there is a high-risk individual that had cancer before, all those are considered urgent," she told The New York Times.
Despite long wait times, women are still using their health-insurance-prescribed preventative medicine visits and getting the appropriate screenings. The number of mammograms performed in 2010 increased to 100,000, up from 92,000 in 2009, according to the newspaper.
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