The net survey was performed from Jan. 15 by means of Feb. 7, 2021.
“We have been definitely seeing people delay coming in for radiation due to considerations associated to COVID,” Dr. Karen Winkfield, government director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance in Nashville, Tenn., mentioned on the information convention. “However we’ve completed a beautiful job in radiation oncology departments across the nation with ensuring our sufferers and our workers are protected.”
Sufferers are additionally returning for most cancers screening, Winkfield added.
Shelley Fuld Nasso, chief government officer of the Nationwide Coalition for Most cancers Survivorship, in Silver Spring, Md., mentioned whereas telemedicine has proved essential, many sufferers lack entry or the power to make use of the know-how wanted.
For a lot of sufferers, telemedicine creates a sense that wanted emotional assist has been misplaced, together with a way of isolation and restricted entry to the most cancers care crew, Nasso mentioned.
“We heard from sufferers that they need to have the ability to have entry to the entire crew and never simply the one individual they might be seeing on telehealth,” she mentioned.
Nasso additionally talked about two sufferers whose medical doctors initially handed off their most cancers as one thing else.
“[These patients] needed to be advocates to get their prognosis — neither of their cancers would have been detected by screening — however they knew the signs they have been feeling weren’t proper and so they sought therapy, at the same time as they confronted delays within the prognosis,” she mentioned.
Not everyone seems to be keen or in a position to advocate for themselves, Nasso added.
“We have to make sure that the system works for everybody no matter their well being literacy or their potential to advocate for themselves,” she mentioned.
Pandemic-related unemployment and the ensuing lack of health insurance have additionally taken a toll on most cancers screening and prognosis, in keeping with Dr. Laura Makaroff, senior vp for prevention and early detection on the American Most cancers Society.
However Makaroff predicted that as extra People are vaccinated, will increase in screening and most cancers diagnoses will observe.
“Individuals will really feel extra snug moving into for well being care, however I believe we as a nation must additionally acknowledge that we’ve work to do to scale back these obstacles in order that sufferers are in a position to have interaction in care safely and perceive that threat of delaying care or delaying screening is way larger than any threat of potential COVID publicity,” Makaroff mentioned.