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Healthy Habits: Don’t put cancer screenings on hold during pandemic

Vidant Health says routine cancer screenings dropped by 90% from February to April because less people are getting screened during the pandemic.
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 8:18 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The number of people diagnosed with cancer has dropped significantly, but it’s not because cancer is taking a break.

Vidant Health says routine cancer screenings dropped by 90% from February to April because less people are getting screened during the pandemic.

Nikki Hyatt, Vidant Cancer Care Outreach Coordinator, says by putting the screenings on hold, there’s a bigger risk. She says getting screened regularly makes it possible to find pre-cancerous cells and detect cancer when it’s more treatable.

It is recommended that people over 40 schedule cancer screenings as part of their general health routine. Screenings for cancer include: Mammograms for breast cancer, PSA blood test for prostate cancer, CT scan for lung cancer, colonoscopy or other “at-home” tests for colorectal cancer, pap smears for cervical cancer and regular dermatology visits should resume.

The Vidant Cancer Prevention Clinic is open with protocols in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the screenings, including mask requirements.

Hyatt suggests talking to your primary care physician if you have questions about whether you should be screened. You can also call 816-RISK(7475) to learn more about Vidant’s cancer screening services.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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