Health

Coronavirus May be Delaying Breast Cancer Screenings

Image: Dale Williams (publicdomainpictures.net)

Since the beginning of the pandemic, health agencies such as the World Health Organization have recommended people to stay at home and avoid going outdoors unnecessarily in order to lower the spread of coronavirus infection. As a result, many people have been avoiding going in public spaces which, as said by research, has resulted in the prevention of millions of new cases around the world.

However, while people not going out in public space is indeed making a difference, experts are worried that many may also be delaying fundamental hospital visits. Out of the fear of contracting the coronavirus, those with medical conditions that require frequent visits to the hospital are not following up with their check-ups.

In fact, studies have even shown that a big number of people are also delaying visits for getting a vaccination for themselves and their children, which may even lead to outbreaks of multiple diseases in the coming months.

Additionally, it is estimated that many deaths recorded during the coronavirus health crisis may be due to people not receiving the medical help they require due to lack of facilities and delays in medical appointments. Therefore, experts urge people to see their doctor on time and not discontinue any treatment without proper consultation as it can lead to negative health outcomes and even cause death.

Now, it has been reported that many women are also not getting their regular breast cancer screening. Back in July, research by the American Association of Cancer Research highlighted that the number of women getting mandatory testing for breast cancer including MRIs, mammography, and ultrasounds had already decreased.

Secondly, since the crisis has disrupted the regular checkups of breast cancer, obtaining and distribution of facilities has also become difficult which means that even fewer women can get a screening when they want to.

Since the start of October, which is the official month for breast cancer awareness, the number has gone down even further. This may also mean that after the end of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there may be an epidemic in breast cancer among women.

To avoid this from happening, experts are suggesting to not delay their screening appointments and not be afraid of visiting hospitals and other medical facilities.

Read also: Coronavirus Fatigue Likely to Lead to Multiple Outbreaks 

In the past few months, the majority of the hospitals have improved their safety and hygiene protocols which, in turn, has effectively lowered the spread of the coronavirus infection. Therefore, going to the hospital is not as dangerous.

For screenings, tests, and other fundamental medical procedures, do not delay appointments. Although the vast majority remains to be at a high risk of contracting the infection, the chances are reduced to a big extent if only safety guidelines are followed.

So, instead of skipping medical visits and treatments which can lead to dangerous consequences out of fear of having the coronavirus infection, go to the doctor and follow safety instructions such as wearing a mask, avoiding physical contact, and maintain distance which can protect from the infection effectively.

About the author

Abeera I. Kazmi

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