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October 24, 2021

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Screening examinations

During COVID-19 pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, which has lasted the better part of a year now, many things have been postponed, cancelled or rescheduled. Family gatherings, vacations and sports are just a few examples of things that may have been put off for another time. Unfortunately, many people have also experienced this with their recommended health screening examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. For many reasons, routine screening examinations may have been postponed, cancelled or rescheduled. In fact, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that an estimated 31.5% of U.S. adults had delayed or avoided routine medical care due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Failure to seek routine screening examinations could put you at increased risk for poor health outcomes.

Breast cancer screening consists of screening mammograms and breast exams which are recommended annually for women ages 40 and over. Colorectal cancer screening consists of stool occult blood testing (annually) or colonoscopy (every ten years). Detecting breast and colon cancer in its early stages can reduce the risk of cancer-related death. Other screening examinations such as those for diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and osteoporosis can help identify health problems early, helping you manage your disease before it becomes life-threatening. 

Many screening examinations are available close to home with convenient scheduling options. The CDC has issued recommendations for healthcare facilities to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 transmission and to ensure your safety when you seek care. If you have postponed or cancelled your routine screening examinations due to the COVID-19 pandemic or any other reason, your primary care physician can help you to determine what screening tests are appropriate for you at this time and assist you in scheduling an appointment. Additional information regarding cancer screening during the COVID-19 pandemic is available through the American Cancer Society.

Amy M. Mills

Director of Oncology and Care Transitions

Blanchard Valley Health System