The Commission on Cancer (CoC) reports that there are approximately 150,000 new cancer diagnoses each month in the United States. This year alone, it is estimated that 1.8 million people will be diagnosed with cancer. Cancer screenings are the main reason for early cancer diagnoses. An early cancer diagnosis can have a significant impact on your treatment and outcome.
Cancer Screenings are Down
- Mammograms are down 87%
- Pap smears are down 83%
- Colonscopies are down 90%
- Prostate screening is down 90%
Why is this important?
Approximately 47% of newly diagnosed patients learn they have cancer through a screening test. Additionally, CT scans to monitor for cancer recurrence in survivors have also decreased significantly due to COVID-19.
The Future Impact on Cancer Care
There will eventually be a massive influx of patients in need of routine screens. The potential outcomes of delaying screenings include a significant increase of new cancer diagnoses in later stages as well as a possible increase in cancer-related deaths.
What to do?
- Call your primary care physician to discuss what cancer screening tests are appropriate for you.
- Contact your screening facility and ask what precautions they have in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Prepare questions to ask your physician during your screening appointment.
Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators
Accessed at https://aonnonline.org/expert-commentary/navigation-and-survivorship-news/
STAT. “Routine cancer screenings have plummeted during the pandemic, medical reacords data show”
Accessed at https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/04/cancer-screenings-drop-coronavirus-pandemic-epic/
American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Statistics”
Accessed at https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics.html
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