From OHC, Specialists in the Treatment of Adult Cancers and Blood Disorders

August 4, 2020

The cancer experts at OHC are raising the alarm about delayed cancer exams, treatment and screenings.

Precautionary measures due to COVID-19 have caused much of the disruption, and doctors worry that extended delays may result in many cancer cases going undiagnosed or being diagnosed at a later stage when they are more difficult to treat.

At the onset of the pandemic, federal health officials urged the public to delay elective medical procedures and screenings as a preventative measure to help facilities prepare for community transmission of COVID-19. This recommendation has since been lifted. However, the earlier delay, combined with public concern of infection, may have led to a significant drop in cancer screenings.

According to a recent study by the Epic Health Research Network, there has been a pronounced drop in screening rates for breast, colon, and cervical cancers – as much as 94% from their average for this time of year.

OHC wants to stress how important seeking medical advice, treatment and cancer screenings are to a patient’s overall health. Early detection is the most effective way to prevent cancer death.

“Now that we’re six months into this pandemic, delayed medical care and screenings are becoming a public health issue,” says Prasad R. Kudalkar, MD, medical oncologist and hematologist. “It’s important for people to seek medical advice if they notice any symptoms or anything different about their health. They should also continue getting their regular cancer screenings, even in the midst of COVID-19. Most cancer is treatable if detected early, so we recommend that people get their screenings scheduled now.”

Mammograms, colonoscopies, and other routine screenings and exams are encouraged for high-risk patients and those with a family history of cancer. This also includes low-dose CT scans for lung cancer and exams for prostate and skin cancer. Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer or has a concern about a change in their health, is urged to contact OHC at 1-888-649-4800 for more information or to request a second opinion.


1. Healthcare Facilities: Managing Operations During the COVID-10 Pandemic, July 10, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-hcf.html

2. Preventative Cancer Screenings During COVID-19 Pandemic, May 1, 2020, https://www.ehrn.org/wp-content/uploads/Preventive-Cancer-Screenings-during-COVID-19-Pandemic.pdf

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