Cancer Screening and Treatment Update for Oregon Patients
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our healthcare systems and services in Portland and across the US. As medical offices in Oregon closed to in-patient care, preventive services and elective procedures were delayed or halted to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in healthcare settings. Delaying preventive services has risks as well, and AIM Health, along with OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and national healthcare leaders, is urging patients to reschedule preventive services, in particular cancer screenings and treatments.
Cancers May Go Undiagnosed and Untreated
Recent studies have found a dramatic decrease in cervical, colorectal, breast, prostate and lung cancer screenings. The number of newly diagnosed cancers have also decreased significantly, indicating many cancers may be going undiagnosed and untreated as a result. The National Cancer Institute estimates excess deaths from breast and colorectal cancer alone could reach 10,000 lives over the next 10 years due to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
With the rollout of vaccines and numerous measures in place to stop the spread of infection at health facilities, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and American Cancer Society (ACS) have teamed up with a coalition of more than 75 leading cancer centers across the country to urge the resumption of cancer screenings and treatments.
Regular Cancer Screenings Save Lives
The fight against cancer has seen numerous advances in screenings and treatments, resulting in fewer annual deaths from cancer. Regular cancer screenings are important, and we know that early detection and treatment save lives. Deciding to resume screenings requires careful consideration of the risks and benefits and may be different for each individual.
If you’re due or overdue for routine screenings, we will be reaching out to remind you and urge you to consider resuming preventive services as it is safe for you to do so. Wondering if you should continue to postpone routine screenings? The ACS suggests that you and your healthcare provider consider your personal health history and cancer risk, the severity of COVID-19 infections in your community, as well as screening guidelines and recommendations when making these decisions.
Your health and wellbeing are the purpose of our practice at AIM Health and we are here to help you navigate these unprecedented times. For more information, follow the links below or reach out to us for assistance.