Cancer and Covid-19: Part 2
Updated: Dec 7, 2021
Since Covid-19 hit Canada, the number of cancer patients coming through our cancer clinic has decreased by 30%. One of the main issues is that people are afraid to attend appointments with their family doctor or hospital due to Covid-19. Some would prefer to put it off until the pandemic is over. Unfortunately this means that patients will be diagnosed with later stage cancers, which could have been diagnosed and treated earlier on.
Little do people know, there is actually less chance that you will contract Covid-19 in a hospital than in a grocery store. Hospitals are constantly being cleaned with bleach products, there are dedicated units for Covid-19 patients which are safely contained, and everyone, including staff are screened for symptoms at each entrance before being allowed into the hospital.
Another contributing factor to the decrease in cancer treatment this year, is that cancer isn't being diagnosed. Many family Physicians are only doing phone consults with patients and some have reduced working hours. Annual physicals and breast exams aren't being done as regularly. Screening programs and diagnostic testing aren't being ordered as frequently. And in some areas, non-life threatening surgeries are on hold such as biopsies and mastectomies. All due to Covid-19.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing early signs of cancer or suspicious symptoms, please don’t wait to get them assessed. It is still important to receive regular cancer screening, even during a pandemic. There’s no telling how long Covid-19 will be around and cancer needs to be treated fast! The earlier it is detected to better your prognosis and less harsh the treatments.
If your doctor has delayed any of your testing or treatments due to Covid-19, ask them why and if they think it is in your best interest to wait. Some cancers may be slowly progressing and can be safely delayed, but if you feel don't feel comfortable with their decision then tell them. It is ok to be pushy, and important to advocate for yourself or your loved one, especially when it comes to your health.
If you have any questions or concern please feel free to reach out to us any time at Own Your Cancer Coaching.