CDC reports major drop in routine cancer screenings due to ongoing pandemic

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Posted at 1:24 PM, Aug 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-14 14:24:05-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As hospitals struggle to deal with the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, many elective medical procedures, including cancer screenings, are again being put on hold.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been more than an 80% drop in screenings. The CDC said delaying cancer screenings has the possibility of increasing existing health disparities.

Since April 2020, the total number of cancer screenings received by the CDC’s early detection program declined by 87% for breast cancer. Cervical cancer screenings saw a decline of 84%.

Several factors could have contributed, one being people worrying about getting sick during the visit, and more screening sites were closed because of the pandemic.

Doctors said it is safe to visit hospitals for these necessary and routine checkups.

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, one local doctor says it’s important to confide in medical health providers with questions about being vaccinated, especially if you are a cancer patient.

"I think it’s best to reach out to your health care provider or look at trusted sources such as the American Cancer Society and CDC," said Dr. Vandana Abramson, a professor at Vanderbilt University.

Routine care can keep small issues from turning into big problems.

Experts say now is the time to get back to those routines.