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Local doctors highlight womens' health

Posted at 6:04 AM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 07:04:08-04

TULSA, Okla. — Doctors with OU Health met Tuesday to discuss everything concerning women's health. The panel talked about the importance of mammograms, well-woman exams, and early detection.

Women's health can sometimes be placed on the backburner with the busyness of life, but the doctors on Tuesday's panel say women's health is important and should be acknowledged.

The doctors range in specialties from breast radiology, general OBGYN care, and menopause.

They say due to the pandemic, routine care became less pertinent and that can lead to cancers and other illnesses being missed.

Doctors recommend that women should begin getting mammograms at age 40 or age 35 if breast cancer runs in their immediate family. While some insurances cover the costly exam, others don't which health professionals say they believe hinders women from doing the exam.

Dr. Kelly McDonough, a breast radiologist, says paying attention to your body can save your life.

“When we think of basic breast health, I think we need to begin talking about being aware with your own background breast tissue," says McDonough. "Becoming familiar with what your breasts normally look and feel like so that if you notice a change, you can let your healthcare provider know so they can get you scheduled for whatever appropriate steps are next."

The American Cancer Society estimates in 2022 that nearly 600 women will die from breast cancer.

This panel comes just weeks after the Oklahoma House passed House Bill 3504. The bill would require insurance companies to cover a routine, physician-ordered women's health procedure. The bill will be heard by the Senate next.

The author of the bill, Oklahoma Democratic State Representative Melissa Provenzano says HB 3504 could help those who can't afford preventative care get the exams they need to stay healthy.

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