Don't Ignore Your Screenings
- Now may be a good time to speak with your doctor about resuming routine cancer screening tests, such as mammography
- Healthcare facilities have become more adept at cleaning and disinfecting between patients to make the environment safer
- Individuals with "worrisome" symptoms should not be afraid to seek out medical care
"Cancer hasn't gone away, just because we're in the middle of a pandemic," says Dr. Elizabeth Comen, an oncologist from the Memorial Sloan Cancer Center in New York. However, many elective procedures and preventive services such as mammograms, colonoscopies and Pap smears may have been delayed for a few months in order to limit the number of patients coming into a facility.Read More
Staying Safe During Doctor VisitsFear should not dictate treatment, and Comen says "what we don't want is a huge fallout because patients are afraid to leave their home and missing their most important tests."
While some patients may be anxious about getting screened while the pandemic is still ongoing, there are some tips that you can follow to help ensure safety:
- Try to book appointments early in the morning to avoid crowds, as many people will be working. Not only will it be less crowded but the wait may be shorter.
- Protect yourself and others by wearing a mask and gloves to your screening appointment
- Wash your hands when you enter and leave the hospital and use hand sanitizer while at your visit
- Practice social distancing and stay six feet away from other patients
- If you have any risk factors, request priority scheduling when you call to make your appointment
- Make sure to speak up when booking appointments, especially if you are told that there will be delays
- If you have any worrisome symptoms don't wait and call your doctor today.
- Keep track of your cancer screening history and make sure you are up-to-date.