Breast cancer screenings remain down but breast cancer incidence is up in New Mexico

A University of New Mexico Cancer Center oncologist said she and other providers are seeing an increase in the amount of people diagnosed with breast cancer in the state. Dr. Ursa Brown-Glaberman, medical oncologist at the UNM Cancer Comprehensive Center, said the increase in cancer diagnosis began in fall of 2020. She said providers “saw what we expected; a whole lot of cancer out there not being detected.”

“As clinicians, we saw a huge wave of diagnosis. We were incredibly busy [in the] fall [of 2020] and spring [of 2021] and there were more patients than we normally see with new breast cancers. We saw women who skipped mammograms for a year.

What’s ahead for the U.S. Supreme Court this year for reproductive health

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the U.S. Supreme Court case on Mississippi’s 15-week gestational ban, is not the only reproductive healthcare case that the high court could hear this year, according to Supreme Court watchers. The date for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health has not been set yet but Ellie Rushforth, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, said the court usually doesn’t deliver its opinion on abortion cases until June or July. “Then begins an election,” Rushforth said, indicating the 2022 mid-term races between Republicans and Democrats will begin in earnest. Rushforth said the court will not likely hear oral arguments on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health until December at the earliest. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health has the potential to upend Roe v. Wade.

DOH: Pregnant people should get vaccinated to prevent severe illness

The New Mexico Department of Health is encouraging women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant to get vaccinated because COVID-19 during pregnancy can lead to complications. DOH issued a statement Thursday reminding the public the importance of vaccinations against COVID-19 for pregnant people. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued guidance that vaccines are safe for pregnant people. The overall risk for severe illness is low, according to the CDC, but pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to suffer severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to those who are not pregnant.   

Severe illness can include hospitalization, intensive care, ventilator use or other breathing assistance and, possibly, death, according to the statement. The CDC issued a warning that pregnant people who contract COVID-19 are at an increased risk for preterm birth and could be at an increased risk for other adverse pregnancy outcomes comparable to pregnant people who do not contract COVID-19.

Study: Women may pay more than men for car insurance

With the exception of 16-to-25-year olds, a study found that some women pay more than men for car insurance in New Mexico, according to a consumer advocacy group. According to the data, provided by Consumer Federation of America, the difference in annual average pay rates between a single woman and a single man are small as long as all other factors are equal. But, if a woman has a poor credit history, the rate differences between what that woman pays compared to what a man with good credit history pays can be considerable, according to the data. One example is a 35-year-old single female driver with a perfect driving record but poor credit who lives in zip code 87121, which encompasses an area of Albuquerque’s Westside and west of Albuquerque. This hypothetical female pays, on average, $621.20 more annually for car insurance than a male with better credit credit.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains expands telehealth to help patients in New Mexico

To make reproductive health care more accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has created an app to help patients in New Mexico. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains announced the app to help patients obtain medication contraceptives and urinary tract infection (UTI) treatment during the pandemic. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains said this will help those already facing barriers to accessing care. Communities of color, people with low incomes and young people are disproportionately affected by the public health crisis, Adrienne Mansanares, PPRM chief experience officer, said in a statement. “Expanding telehealth is an important step to making reproductive care more accessible in New Mexico, and to continue to serve the communities who rely on us for high-quality, affordable, compassionate care.