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Houstonians Putting Off Routine Cancer Screenings Due to Fears of COVID-19


Publication: KUHF-FM (NPR, Houston)


Many Houstonians are putting off routine cancer screenings this year due to fears of catching COVID-19. Health Reporter Sara Willa Ernst says this puts older patients at a higher health risk.

Early detection of cancer is important because treatments at early stages are shorter and less expensive… and offer better chances of survival.

Dr. Srinath Sundararajan is a Physician at the Texas Oncology Cancer Centers in Katy and Bellville. He says older people are more afraid of catching COVID-19, but they also have more to gain from getting screened for cancer.

“Cancer on average is mostly a disease of patients who are past their 40s and 50s and 60s and 70s… and those are patients who are actually hit by COVID more so than others. The fear of going out, the fear of going to a mammogram place. But cancer screening is something really crucial that we cannot delay because there is a pandemic that's affecting the healthcare system.”

He says telemedicine can be a helpful tool in cancer detection, but it cannot fully replace in-person screenings for things like prostate, colon or breast cancer.

Listen to the full story.

Transcript

In other news, many Houstonians are putting off routine cancer screenings this year due to fears of catching COVID-19.  Our health reporter, Sara Willa Ernst says this puts older patients at a higher health risk.

Early detection of cancer is important, because treatments at early stages are shorter and less expensive and offer better chances of survival.  Dr. Srinath Sundararajan is a Physician at the Texas Oncology Cancer Centers in Katy and Bellville. He says older people are more afraid of catching COVID-19, but they also have more to gain from getting screened for cancer.

“Cancer on average is mostly a disease of patients who are past their 40s and 50s and 60s and 70’s, and those are patients who are actually hit by COVID more so than others. The fear of going out, the fear of going to a mammogram place, but again, cancer screening is something really crucial that we cannot delay because there is a pandemic that's affecting the healthcare system.” - Dr. Srinath Sundararajan

He says telemedicine can be a helpful tool in cancer detection, but it cannot fully replace in-person screenings for things like prostate, colon or breast cancer.  I’m Sara Willa Ernst from Houston