Cancer definitionRadiation oncologists have seen an increase in new patients with advanced-stage cancers coming into clinics for treatment since the start of the pandemic. In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to schedule recommended cancer screenings.
“Regular screening tests may find breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers early, when treatment is likely to work best,” wrote the CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control in a blog post.
A recent RAND Corporation study found that routine breast and colon cancer screenings saw a fast rebound following sharp drops in the early days of the pandemic. But it’s possible that many people who missed screenings have yet to reschedule them.
“While it is reassuring to see cancer screening rates begin to return to pre-pandemic levels, we have to ensure that people who deferred preventive services are prioritized to get their screening in a timely manner, especially if they are at higher risk of disease,” said study co-author Dr. Dena Bravata.