Cancer screenings cancelled or postponed amid pandemic

Health experts ensure that clinics prioritize patient safety.
Breast and cervical cancer screenings dropped 94% in March in the United States, according to...
Breast and cervical cancer screenings dropped 94% in March in the United States, according to one study.(FILE PHOTO)
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:32 PM CST
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - The pandemic has caused countless cancellations, but health experts are noticing a frightening trend. The amount of cancer screenings has fallen dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the CDC, it’s estimated that over forty percent of adults have avoided or delayed medical care of some kind. Naturally, most are on the fence about going places they feel may not be necessary while Covid-19 continues to spread. However, health experts emphasize the importance of screenings and tests, even amid the pandemic.

Screenings are critical, as they can detect cancer, sometimes before symptoms even begin to show. Early cancer detection is crucial for patients to receive faster, more effective care.

The amount of breast, colorectal and cervical cancer screenings have dropped by a staggering eighty percent. Screenings have improved, but have not returned to baseline. Missing screenings could mean that for some, cancer could be found much later, when it’s far more difficult to treat. Experts predict that these delays will result in an excess of 10,000 deaths from breast and colorectal cancer alone.

Lisa Richardson, the Division Director for Cancer Prevention and Control, says the main reason for these delays, is people being worried about Covid safety. She ensures that clinics have measures in place to keep everyone safe, and allow for timely, accurate testing.

The CDC urges Americans not to wait for symptoms to show, and encourages people to speak with their health care providers about which screenings are best for them.

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