Early in the COVID pandemic, cancer screening centers and outpatient offices were closed. At the same time elective medical procedures were put on hold and suspended to better prioritize urgent care. That is no longer the case, so if you were one of those who had a screening delayed, here are the reasons why you shouldn’t put off cancer screenings during the pandemic even one more day.
It Is Now Safe To Have Your Cancer Screening
All outpatient and other care facilities are safe. All safety steps and protocols are in place as guided by the CDC like masking, sanitizing of all areas, social distancing, COVID screenings for staff, and limiting the number of visitors. There is no reason to put off any cancer screenings.
Precious Time Is Being Wasted
If your mammogram, colonoscopy, prostate, or other cancer screening was put off, don’t waste any more precious time. Call Siouxland Urology today to schedule your screening.
Women ages 45 to 54 should have a mammogram screening every year. Once a woman turns 55 she can be screened every 2 years or continue every year. Breast cancer screenings should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live another 10 years or more. Your physician can guide you about your personal recommendations.
Not being screened for breast cancer for even six months can be a cause for concern especially if there are symptoms.
The CDC recommends that men begin having screenings for colon cancer by age 50. A colonoscopy is the best way to prevent cancer from forming in the colon or spreading. Don’t waste any more precious time if your test was delayed due to COVID and especially if you are having any changes in your bowel habits. You can also ask your physician for a fecal immunochemical test or FIT to do at home.
The same is true for prostate cancer screenings. See your urologist for an initial DRE, digital rectal examination, or a PSA test if your doctor recommends that.
Although prostate cancer is slow growing, you shouldn’t put off cancer screenings any longer during the pandemic.
It Could Save Your Life!
We can’t put it any more emphatically than that.
Delaying screenings can delay a diagnosis, whereas early diagnosis of most cancers makes it easier to successfully treat them.
Many studies recorded a major drop in screenings during the early months of the pandemic emphasizing that it is essential to make up for lost time by scheduling your screening as soon as possible. Unfortunately, missed cancers may be larger and more advanced when we finally get back to normal screening patterns.