With the pandemic requiring many people to stay indoors to keep safe, many women also avoided health screenings, like for breast cancer. However, missing these screenings could prove adverse for their health.
Dr Susan Boolbol, breast surgery chief at the Nuvance Health, stated that the rising number of patients who no longer go for the required health screening seem to hold off on the process because of fear of contracting coronavirus when they step out of their homes.
Boolbol pointed to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which indicated that diagnoses for the common types of cancer, which include, breast, pancreatic, esophageal, colorectal, and gastric, have all dropped. In March and April, doctors really did take notice of it.
The number was kind of appalling. On average, the new weekly diagnoses drastically dropped by 46.4 percent. This went for all the types of cancer, specifically for the period from March 1 to April 18.
Breast cancer diagnoses may have seen the biggest drop, with about 51.8 percent. On the other hand, there was only a small drop in pancreatic cancer diagnoses, which was at 24.7 percent.
Dr Boolbol was fairly bothered by the numbers because she said that cancer will not go away simply because there is an ongoing pandemic. She said cancer does not take a break.
She emphasised that annual health screenings are available so that cancer can be detected early. If the screenings get neglected, people run the risk of being diagnosed at the stage where the disease has already progressed, and this is something that nobody wants to happen.
Boolbol also noted that the initial goal was to keep people out of hospitals and offices. Health screenings were put on hold. In addition, in order to allocate more rooms for COVID-19 patients, elective surgeries were also halted.
Fortunately, those who have received previous diagnoses of their condition continued to receive treatment. Boolbol underscored that treating cancer, even if it means delaying surgical procedures, is acceptable. She also said that medical facilities, and clinics, have gone out of their way to ensure that the place is safe for patients.
The World Health Organization revealed that breast cancer is the most prevalent kind of cancer among women. Each year, it impacts approximately 2.1 million women and it has also been touted as the one that leads to high numbers of cancer-related deaths.