๐‚๐Ž๐•๐ˆ๐ƒ-๐Ÿ๐Ÿ— ๐š๐ง๐ ๐‚๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ซ ๐’๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐‚๐ก๐ž๐œ๐ค-๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฌ

Is it safe to go to the doctor or ER?

Around the country, non-COVID related visits to the ER or doctor have declined. Here in Texas, I’ve heard many doctors urging people to continue with their regular screenings and check-ups. I’ve had to go to the doctor a few times and also have taken my kiddos in for a check-up. Here’s what I found – healthcare facilities (doctor offices, ER rooms, hospitals) are some of the safest places in terms of COVID-19 – because of the vast precautions. In other words, most know what they are doing to protect people. And, are doing a good job in precautionary measures of masking, isolation rooms, and strict COVID-19 screening. (These statements are “in general”. Before you go to the doctor, look to see if they have good COVID-19 measures in place.)

๐‹๐ž๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ฅ๐จ๐จ๐ค ๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ฑ๐š๐ฆ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐œ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ซ ๐ฌ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ: I want to highlight one aspect of health that is really important to watch – and, I think every family is affected by cancer is some way. Early on the pandemic, preventive cancer screenings declined dramatically due to closures and shut-downs of facilities. Although screenings have recently begun to rise, they have not reached “normal” levels seen in previous years.

-In total, between March 15 and June 16, 285,000 (breast), 95,000 (colon), and 40,000 (cervical) exams were missed, which represent deficits of 63%, 64%, and 67% relative to the number of screenings from previous years.

-As of June 16th, screenings were still 29%, 36%, and 35% lower than pre-COVID-19 levels for breast, colon, and cervical cancer screenings.

-For many types of cancer, early detection is key for a better prognosis.

๐“๐š๐ค๐ž ๐ก๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ ๐ž: If we need to go to the doctor, ER, or screening visit, doctors are encouraging us to go. I hear that encouragement (and sometimes pleading) from our local ER and family physicians every week in our COVID-19 county meetings. Wear your mask. Get your screenings.

I’m also posting the American Cancer Society’s website with common questions regarding COVID-19 and cancer. Some cancer patients are at a higher risk of COVID-19 complications or severe illness due to a weakened immune system. The website gives some good tips on how to protect yourself or family member with cancer.

-Friendly neighbor epidemiologist

Sources:

Screening study: https://www.ehrn.org/delays-in-preventive-cancer-screenings-during-covid-19-pandemic/

ACS Website: https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/common-questions-about-the-new-coronavirus-outbreak.html

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