COVID cancer impact, risk from delayed screenings

Health Watch

CLEVELAND, Ohio. (Ivanhoe Newswire)– The pandemic may have put more lives at risk than you might think and not just from the virus. A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation found hundreds of thousands of preventative cancer screenings were skipped during the lockdown, especially by women. Now, medical experts fear the long-term impact could result in more people being diagnosed with later stages of cancers.

Berquita Bonner put’s a lot of love and care into her home and family and has learned self-care is just as important.

“We tend to take care of everybody else and kind of put ourselves on the back burner,” Berquita Bonner told Ivanhoe.

She found this out the hard way.

“I was losing a lot of weight. I was having stomach pains,” shared Berquita Bonner.

A colonoscopy discovered two polyps, one the size of a quarter.

“I am certain that had she not come in that would have developed into cancer,” detailed Brooke Glessing, MD, Gastroenterologist at UH Cleveland Medical Center.

A new report found that over the last year, 38 percent of women skipped preventative health services, compared to 26 percent of men. The National Cancer Institute predicts people who will die from colorectal or breast cancer will increase by nearly ten thousand over the next decade due to COVID-19’s impact on cancer care.

“The longer it takes us to diagnose it, the harder it is to treat it,” explained Brooke Glessing, MD.

Although Bequita had symptoms, that’s not the case for most.

“It very, very rarely has symptoms. So, colon cancer is not something that if you have a very small, early onset cancer, that you will know it,” elaborated Brooke Glessing, MD

It’s recommended to get your first colonoscopy at 45 and help protect yourself from getting one of the few cancers that is preventable.

“It’s one of the only cancers that we can say that. And so, if we can get the word out, get screened, we could be saving so many lives,” emphasized Brooke Glessing, MD.

“If I had not gone back, I could have lost my life and left my mother here without a daughter, left my daughter here without her mother, my husband here without his wife, that would be selfish of me,” uttered Berquita Bonner.

Although certain foods like red meats and processed meats, alcohol, and tobacco increase your risk for colon cancer, the best way to reduce your risk for colon cancer is to get screened.

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