NASHVILLE, TENN. (WSMV) - As Americans catch up on missed appointments, health experts are reminding women not to forget mammograms.
"Prioritize yourself, prioritize your health care and go ahead and reschedule your mammogram," said Dr. DaCarla Albright, obstetrician-gynecologist.
The National Cancer Institute estimates there could be 10,000 additional breast and colorectal cancer deaths over the next decade as a result of missed screenings and delayed diagnoses and treatment.
"I've had many patients who've had early breast cancer diagnosed from routine mammograms," Dr. Albright said.
A routine mammogram also caught musician Sheryl Crow's stage one breast cancer in 2006.
"Would it have been stage 2 in six months? It's possible,” Crow said. “In which case, my treatment would have been changed from a lumpectomy and radiation to perhaps chemotherapy or something more dramatic."
Health care centers are now taking additional precautions against the spread of COVID-19 with masks, stepped up cleanings and spaced appointments to minimize contact between patients.
The Grammy winner is encouraging women to reschedule missed mammograms or keep upcoming appointments.
"Until we have a cure, this is our greatest weapon," Crow said.
A recent survey by medical technology company Hologic found more than a quarter of women plan to either skip or delay their annual screenings this year.
Doctors are responding, saying don't delay – early cancer detection saves lives.