Many clinicians fear a cancer pandemic as many facilities paused on cancer screening during the COVID pandemic. Throughout the USA, hospitals and physician practices have seen cancer screening paused to prioritize caring for patients with COVID. Cancelled appointments for screening will delay early detection, diagnosis and treatment of new and recurrent cancer situations.
Hospitals and Physician practices sanitize rooms carefully between patients, liberal usage of PPEs and hand sanitizers and temperature checks at entry points safeguards against COVID transmission. It has taken us decades to lobby for screening and testing and the progress made will definitely be affected b the COVID pandemic.
We know that cancer deaths are clearly related to the stage of disease at time of diagnosis. Tens of thousands of deaths are predicted in the next decade due to the delayed cancer diagnosis. Annual screening and Physician visits must not be delayed, screening must stay on schedule as best possible ie Mammograms, Colon screening, Low dose Chest CTs for smokers etc.
Dermatologists are just as fearful about missing melanomas during the pandemic. Individuals at high risk are encouraged to get their annual skin check-up.
One thing we do not yet know is … is COVID carcinogenic? HIV virus predisposes to Lymphomas and Kaposi Sarcomas, Herpes predisposes to Cervical Cancer and Hepatitis C predisposes to Hepatic Cancer. Time alone will tell.