As a result of COVID-19, many people had to put off their cancer screening. This means thousands of people may not catch cancer early, when it is easier to treat or when it could even be prevented. The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Staten Island encourages anyone who has delayed their breast, cervical or colorectal cancer screening to schedule it now.
New York state is getting back to business, and many health care providers are scheduling cancer screenings. Medical offices are taking steps so that screening can be done more safely. These steps may include:
- asking patients about COVID-19 symptoms before they have their appointments
- providing face masks and hand sanitizer
- adding more time between patient appointments
- Frequent disinfecting and cleaning
- Spacing chairs in waiting areas so that people can socially distance
There is also a screening test for colorectal cancer that can be done from home. Call the CSP to find out more about colon cancer screening and the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) take-home kit.
Many are wondering if it is safe to be screened again, and the answer is not the same for everyone. People should talk to their health care provider about their overall health and their risk for breast, cervical or colorectal cancer. They can decide together if getting a screening is safe at this time.
The CSP is here to give information about cancer screening and help those who do not have insurance. The CSP provides free breast and cervical screenings to women age 40 and over and free colorectal screenings to men and women age 50 and over.
Call the CSP of Staten Island at 718-226-6447 for more information.
(Barbara O’Brien, RN, is the administrator of CSP of Staten Island.)