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An Ounce of Prevention...

February 08, 2022

Benjamin Franklin’s timeless adage still rings true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has knocked many of us off course when it comes to preventive health measures, especially keeping up with needed cancer screenings.

Two years after the first COVID-19 cases in the United States were confirmed, there is no denying the impact of the pandemic – most notably, the staggering toll of more than 880,000 deaths in the United States and 5.6 million globally. As the pandemic wears on, COVID-19 will also potentially affect the health of those who have avoided infection but have postponed physician visits and regular health screenings.

While the outlook for COVID-19 remains uncertain, cancer incidence is not. The Texas Cancer registry predicted 131,610 anticipated new cancer diagnoses in Texas for 2021. Cancer is far more likely to be cured when it is caught early. Routine screening is designed to detect cancer before it can cause symptoms or illness or spread throughout the body.

The Doctor Will See You Now

There has been a tremendous impact of the pandemic on healthcare, with loss of practitioners, closures, adaptation to telemedicine, and concerns for staff and patient safety. Patients have been caught between advice to stay home and distance and fear of entering the healthcare environment. However, your physician and their team continue to work tirelessly to provide you with safe access to the care you need to prevent and treat illnesses, including cancer.

We all put off wants and needs during the first months of the pandemic. However, as we roll past year two, many of us have symptoms that need to be checked out or overdue ‘routine maintenance’ that can prevent more serious problems down the road. It’s time to get the ol’ chassis into the shop!

Perfect timing: February is National Cancer Prevention Month

Leading cancer experts have been sounding the alarm regarding delayed and missed cancer screenings leading to an increase in advanced-stage cancer diagnoses, with worse outcomes than if the cancer had been caught early. Even though the full impact may not be seen for a few more years, we know enough to say now: we need to get back on track with recommended cancer screenings.

This month, we encourage those who have put off a routine screening, are overdue for an annual exam, or are experiencing concerning symptoms to schedule an appointment with their healthcare team as soon as possible. Seeing a doctor could be a lifesaving move, especially when it comes to cancer.

Call the toll-free Time to Screen hotline at 1-855-53-SCREEN (1- 855-537-2733) today to find local screening options. Specialists can answer questions and help you find a convenient screening program or location.

For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.