Earlier this year, New York State Senator Betty Little announced she was not running for re-election. But over the summer, she faced a much bigger opponent.
Senator Little was diagnosed with breast cancer in July. It had been almost a year and a half since she got her last mammogram. Senator Little said it’s still very important to make sure you are attending annual check-ups, even during a pandemic.
“Because of COVID you were discouraged from going to the hospital, to the doctors, everyone was overwhelmed by what was going on, and a lot of people never got tests and procedures that they should have gotten, and me included,” Senator Little said.
Targeted Outreach Worker for CSP of Northeastern NY, Christina Battinelli said when the pandemic hit, there was a decrease in people that were coming in to get screenings.
“I think there was a lot of fear in people going, but now we have so many doctors offices that are following the guidelines they are given with the social distancing and using masks and wiping down equipment,” Battinelli said.
Battinelli said it’s recommended women ages 50-74 be screened for breast cancer every two years. Early detection of cancer in people without symptoms can help to find and treat cancer sooner, leading to better outcomes.
“A mammogram can find something that is so small that you normally wouldn’t catch yourself, and what it does is it can catch it early and that way we can treat it earlier than if you were not to have that mammogram, not to have found it,” Battinelli said.
Senator Little finished her radiation last week, and is doing well. She wants people to know.
“That if you get it early, then you’re going to be ahead of the game,” Senator Little said.
If you are in need of cancer screenings in Clinton, Essex and Franklin county, Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Northeastern NY is a resource if you are uninsured.