Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Home Breast Cancer Mercy oncologists discuss decrease in cancer screenings amid pandemic

Mercy oncologists discuss decrease in cancer screenings amid pandemic


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – “Mammography save lives, colonoscopies save lives, pap smears saves lives and so does low-dose CT,” said Mercy Springfield Hospital’s Director of Oncology, Jessica Snider.

Mercy Springfield Hospital said early detection in cancer is key for treatment but recently they’ve seen a decrease in some cancer screenings.

“We’ve seen a decrease in colon cancer screenings. Mainly because people don’t want to do a colonoscopy anyways and the COVID testing required by their society was recommended so that’s hard for people to do,” said Snider.

Mercy’s Director of Oncology, Jessica Snider said while certain services were suspended for a brief period of time at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic patients shouldn’t push back their screenings.

“Our fear from an oncology standpoint is that people are not going to be diagnosed early. They’re going to be diagnosed later in their disease process when the disease may not be cured and we’re terrified of that,” said Snider.

Snider said if this continues she’s nervous for the future.

“We’re going to have major issues with mortality with cancer increasing unless we can find these cancers early,”said Snider

At Cox Health they suspended services too but right now they’re playing catch up.

“I know in our breast cancer clinic we’re looking at expanding our capacity and extending our hours to get everyone in,” said Cox Health Oncology Service Line Coordinator, Autumn Bragg.

Both hospitals said they’re taking preventive measures to ensure safety for their patients.

“We do temperature checks upon entry for all patients and all staff everyday. We do COVID screening questions. We’ve reduced people in waiting rooms,” said Bragg.

Snider said the main types of cancer screenings are lung, colon, breast and cervical.

“I treat cancer everyday. I would much rather treat an early cancer than a later cancer. It’s curative. If we find these many of these cancers are curative. If we don’t find them early they’re not.”

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