Along with the more than 640,000 American lives that have been lost as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the consequences of this health emergency have impacted many thousands more through a damaging domino effect. A key example is the dramatic decrease in cancer screenings that have been scheduled and completed over the past two years. With many hospitals pushed to their limits with COVID patients, and with many vulnerable people hesitant to book appointments both during and after lockdown, the American Cancer Society soon realized that the drop off in screenings was creating a disturbing rise in the number of patients being hospitalized with more serious cases of cancer.
To address this trend, the ACS introduced its “Return to Screening” campaign earlier this year, aimed at taking comprehensive steps to ensure patients would be made aware of the importance of screenings and feel safe and secure in scheduling them. “We’re at a unique moment in history in the fight against cancer,” explained William G. Cance, MD, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. “What we do right now to combat the staggering declines in cancer screening rates that we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic will have reverberations for decades to come. . . . To successfully meet, and even exceed, pre-pandemic screening rates will take a coordinated, multi-sector approach.”
Southeastern Med is proud to have joined in this effort over the past six months. Our CoC and NAPBC-accredited, multidisciplinary cancer team understands that scheduling a screening can be daunting, so we’ve dedicated ourselves to making the process as friendly and streamlined as possible. We are one of ten hospitals involved in this initiative.
First and foremost, all of our facilities are following Ohio Hospital Association, CDC, and OSHA standards for COVID-19 safety. Second, we’re making a point of encouraging people to get screened for a wide range of common cancers; this includes creating as much availability as possible for mammograms, colonoscopies, lung screenings, and prostate exams. All of these screenings are conducted with the latest state-of-the-art methods by highly experienced medical professionals.
If you’re due for a screening and have delayed it, please reach out to us to discuss coming in. And if you’ve never had a screening, but have a medical concern that might warrant one, we can help you meet with a physician to determine a course of action. Screenings only take a small amount of your time, and they just might save your life. So please reach out to us today to discuss your options and availability.
To learn more more about our cancer screenings at Southeastern Med: https://seormc.org/return-to-screening/