Ignoring life-threatening, non–COVID-19 conditions for too long can turn one health crisis into another. Now is the time to resume cancer screenings, like mammograms and colonoscopies, because early detection can be lifesaving.
A new patient engagement crisis is emerging nationwide. According to the Epic Health Research Network, routine cancer screenings decreased significantly throughout the United States from January to April 2020 due to elective procedures being delayed. During the height of the pandemic, breast cancer screening, for example, was considered an elective procedure so many mammograms were postponed or canceled. In fact, Epic noted that screenings specifically for breast and cervical cancers dropped by 94%, and colon cancer screenings dropped by 86%. If health systems don't address this new crisis, the rate of cancer deaths will likely see a major upswing.