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Pelvic Exam and Mammography During COVID

Part of our Cancer Doesn’t Wait for COVID - #ScreenSafelyMI series

Rosemary Berardi

At 80 years old, Rosemary Berardi was nervous getting her annual pelvic exam and mammogram during the COVID pandemic

Rosemary Berardi, 80, is always compliant with her routine screenings. As a 20-year endometrial cancer survivor, she knows how much it means.

“I’m very compliant with all my screenings. I do everything I can to help myself based on doctors’ recommendations,” Berardi says. She typically schedules each appointment six months to a year out to ensure it’s done on time.

But when COVID-19 hit, Michigan Medicine canceled all non-urgent appointments and procedures to increase capacity for coronavirus patients and ensure safety. Routine care and screenings ramped back up in June – just in time for Berardi’s two scheduled appointments: a pelvic exam with her gynecologist and a mammogram.

“I had some apprehension. I’m 80 years old, I’m high risk for COVID,” she says. “It did cross my mind. My feeling was since I’d had cancer, it’s better to have a mammography and do the pelvic.”

Her next thought was how protected she would be at the facility. She wore masks for both appointments and noted that everyone else did too – which is Michigan Medicine’s policy for staff and visitors.

She also observed shields between where she stood and the staff behind check-in desks. Markers on the floor noted 6 feet distance, and chairs were blocked to prevent people from sitting too close in the waiting room.

“I have great faith in Michigan Medicine. If anyone’s going to do it right, U-M is going to do it right. That helped me along,” Berardi says.

Her first appointment was the mammogram, where she felt reassured that the equipment was cleaned between patients, with appointments spaced out to allow extra time for disinfecting.

The following week, she came back to see her gynecologist, who skipped a breast exam because she had had the mammogram. That hit home for Berardi: “It’s really important for people to get these screenings.”

To schedule a mammogram at Michigan Medicine, call 734-936-4500.

Continue reading our Cancer Doesn’t Wait for COVID - #ScreenSafelyMI series

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