The Doctor Is In: Dangers in Delaying Routine Cancer Screenings – – Cancer doesn’t stop for a pandemic

The Doctor Is In

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Dr. Nicole Angel with the Southern Cancer Center is talking about the dangers in delaying routine cancer screenings.

As a result of the pandemic, multiple issues and concerns have caused patients to delay or miss vital screenings and appointments.

March 2020 saw a pronounced drop in screening rates for breast, colon and cervical cancers, which can be attributed to a halt in screening secondary to COVID-19.

Screening rates for these three cancer types fell as much as 94% from their average for this time of year.

Questions:

  • What types of cancer screenings should we be getting routinely?
    • Mammogram, colonoscopy, prostate exam, pap test, skin check, low dose CT, etc.
  • What are some of the dangers of delaying these exams?
    • Can I just skip this year and go back for my exam next year?
  • If I’m nervous or unable to go to my doctor’s office, are there at-home cancer screenings I can do myself?
    • Self-breast exam, colorectal screening kit, skin check, digestive changes, oral health, changes in weight, fatigue, etc.
  • Explain how telehealth or virtual visits work.
    • Is this a good option for patients?
    • How effective are they vs. an in-person visit?
    • Can a diagnosis be made through a telehealth visit?
    • Will insurance pay for these?
  • If I require an in-person exam with my physician, how safe is it for me to visit the office?
    • Or the hospital?
    • What extra steps should I take when preparing for or during my visit?

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