CHICAGO, IL – The COVID-19 pandemic has created medical problems beyond itself. Both doctors and non-profit leaders are concerned about the lack of cancer screenings and patient funding since the pandemic began in March.
Dr. Heather Greenwood, a University of California – San Francisco radiologist, told ABC 11, “We’re very, very worried. While there’s, unfortunately, a lot of patients struggling with COVID, the number of patients with cancer is not going away either.”
The National Cancer Institute has published numerous models that suggest breast cancer and colon cancer alone, for the next decade, there will be more than 10,000 deaths because people are not being screened as they normally would.
Most breast imaging appointments – mammograms and ultrasounds – were canceled in accordance with lock down guidelines. Volume has picked back up at some hospitals; however, doctors say they are still concerned.
The founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen’s San Francisco branch mentioned she delayed her mammogram for several months and is now going in October. “Everything is down.” Horning mentioned how this impacts women who are underinsured and underserved.
The pandemic has forced several fundraising events, such as the Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk to move to a virtual event. As a result, donations and registration are down. These funds help patients who are in need of chemotherapy, pain medication, transportation to and from their treatment center, or childcare or psychosocial services.