By Sara Bondell - August 10, 2021
Former reality star Jon Gosselin’s ex-girlfriend has revealed she has breast cancer.
Colleen Conrad chronicled her experience on Instagram after undergoing a mastectomy for a stage 2 cancer diagnosis.
“I went in for a mammogram on 4/15. I had put it off for almost 2 ½ years due to lack of time and Covid and after got a call that a mass was found on my right breast,” Conrad said in the post.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, elective medical procedures were largely put on hold to prioritize urgent needs and help stop the spread of the virus in health care settings. This has resulted in a major decrease in cancer screenings, which will ultimately lead to a delay in cancer diagnoses.
A 2020 survey by Breastcancer.org found that 11% of women postponed their mammograms because of COVID-19. The National Cancer Institute estimates cancer screening delays will result in more than 10,000 excess breast and colorectal cancer deaths over the next decade.
“Please take care of yourself during the pandemic. If you have put off doing some of your usual health care, like an annual physical exam, laboratory tests or screening for cancer, do not put those things off for too long,” said Dr. Bethany Niell, section chief of Breast Imaging at Moffitt Cancer Center. “It’s so important to get regular screening mammograms.”
Screening mammograms decrease deaths from breast cancer because mammograms often find cancers when they are small and before they have spread outside the breast. Moffitt recommends a screening mammogram every year in average risk women age 40 and older.
In her post, Conrad also urges women to perform monthly self-breast exams.
“The reason I decided to post this was that I was lucky that it was caught early. And to remind everyone not to put off your mammograms and do your monthly breast exams,” she said. “Set a monthly alarm if needed. Even men, who can also get breast cancer. Early detection will make the world of difference and give you a better fighting chance.”
Conrad went on to say her cancer has not spread to her lymph nodes and she is waiting on more results to see if she will need further treatment.