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Doctors concerned about lack of cancer screenings during COVID-19

CHICAGO (September 25, 2020) –  The COVID-19 pandemic has created a myriad of medical problems beyond Coronavirus. Doctors and non-profit leaders alike are concerned about cancer screenings and patient funding amid the health crisis.

Several models that have been published from the National Cancer Institute suggest that from breast cancer and colon cancer alone, there will be 10,000 more deaths in the next decade that are just related to the fact that people aren’t coming in during the pandemic or getting screened as they normally would.

“While there’s, unfortunately, a lot of patients struggling with COVID, the number of patients with cancer is not going away either,” a doctor with the University of California, San Francisco told ABC News. 

In the spring, most breast imaging appointments, like mammograms and ultrasounds, were cancelled in accordance with lock down guidelines. At some hospitals, volume has picked back up to near normal, but doctors are still concerned.

The pandemic has forced several fundraising events, such as the Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk to move to a virtual event. As a result, donations and registration are down, which impacts patients who are underinsured and underserved. These funds help patients who need chemotherapy, pain meds,  transportation to and from their treatment center, or childcare or psychosocial services.

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