Cancer Screenings Skipped
- According to a study from Jama Oncology, nearly 10 million cancer screenings have been missed or skipped in the United States alone over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- During the pandemic, colorectal screenings dropped by nearly 80%, prostate screenings dropped nearly 64%, and breast screenings took the biggest hit by dropping nearly 91%.
- When it comes to catching a cancer diagnosis early, cancer screenings are a critical step in the process as they can detect signs of cancers and offer more treatment options.
As a part of their research, investigators analyzed data concerning three different types of cancers where cancer screenings can be the most critical breast, prostate, and colorectal. They discovered that among these three cancers, 9.4 million of their screenings were skipped during COVID-19. According to the data, the largest decline in screenings occurred in April 2020, which is likely due to stay-at-home orders implemented across the country. During that month, colorectal screenings dropped by nearly 80%, prostate screenings dropped nearly 64% and breast screenings took the biggest hit by dropping nearly 91%.Read More
Cancer Screenings are Critical
When it comes to catching a cancer diagnosis early, cancer screenings are a critical step in the process. By attending these screenings regularly, doctors can check for signs of cancer in the earliest stages. This leads to more treatment options and a higher likelihood of entering remission.
Cancer screenings can vary depending on the type of cancer, so it’s important to pay attention to guidelines. For example, it’s recommended that people with average risk get colorectal cancer screenings starting at age 50 and continue until 75-years-old. With breast cancer, guidelines recommend women with average risk should have annual mammograms between the ages of 45 and 54. So, it’s extremely important to both pay attention to these guidelines but also push for screening if you feel that something is wrong.
“We know that cancer has not gone away just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Dr. Elizabeth Comen, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, told SurvivorNet in a previous interview. “Fortunately, now that we have a little bit of a better hold on how to protect patients, how to disinfect, how to clean in between patients and scatter so that we’re not crowding our waiting rooms, it’s really, really important to remember to talk to your doctor about your screening mammogram or any other preventative tests that you may need.”