Power. Progress. Prevention. May 22, 2020

Published on May 22, 2020

Power. Progress. Prevention. -- An Advocacy Newsletter | Prevent Cancer Foundation

May 22, 2020

Prevent Cancer Foundation provides updates on cancer screenings during COVID-19 pandemic

lung x-rayUntil recently, public health experts and officials recommended delaying routine cancer screenings to conserve medical resources and protect patients and providers from potential exposure to COVID-19. As various states begin relaxing restrictions for certain areas and businesses, we are sharing updates on how patients should handle routine cancer screenings at this time.  

There is no “one size fits all” approach. When thinking about rescheduling screenings, consult your health care provider to determine the best option for you. The American Cancer Society shares these considerations as you think about your options:

  • What is your risk for the type of cancer you’re being screened for? Is the risk of postponing cancer screening bigger than the risk you face from COVID-19?
  • What type of screening test would you have? (Some types of screening tests are more involved than others.)
  • How common is COVID-19 in your area, and what are local health officials recommending about getting health care services right now?
  • What is your risk for having complications if you are infected with COVID-19 (based on things like your age and if you have other serious health conditions)?
  • What measures will be taken by the center to help protect you and others from COVID-19 (such as pre-screening patients for COVID-related symptoms before appointments, allowing for physical distancing between patients and for longer appointment times if needed, cleaning equipment and surfaces after each patient visit, and having staff wear personal protective equipment)?

Routine cancer screenings are screenings for patients who are not experiencing any signs or symptoms. These can include screenings for breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, prostate or skin cancers. If you are experiencing symptoms that concern you, it’s important to call your health care provider for guidance.

If you do postpone your screenings, it is critically important to reschedule those appointments for a later date.  Screenings save lives and cancer doesn’t stop for a pandemic. Get those screenings back on the books to prevent cancer or detect it early.

Patient advocacy organizations ask Congress to support cancer research

On Tuesday, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, along with dozens of patient advocacy groups, participated in the One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) Virtual Lobby Day. OVAC is a working group of public health organizations advocating for greater federal investments in cancer research. We are united behind a message of consistent funding increases for cancer research and prevention on the federal level.

With your support, we urged members of Congress to increase funding for cancer research and resume clinical trials (while maintaining appropriate COVID-19 safety guidelines). Cancer will not stop just because there is a pandemic. It is vital that the work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) continues.

Cancer screening and early detection services are critical to preventing cancer or detecting it before it advances and becomes harder to treat. Please reach out to your representatives and senators and ask them to support lifesaving research. Together, we can Stop Cancer Before It Starts!®

House passes the Heroes Act

Last week, the House passed the Heroes Act, the latest proposal for the COVID-19 relief effort. The bill calls for an additional $3 trillion to provide resources for state and local governments, small businesses, food assistance programs and other programs. It will likely not pass in the Senate, given lack of support from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump. The bill, however, does provide insight to what Democrats will bring to the table for negotiations.

The proposal offers several health care provisions:

  • Indian Health Service – $2.1 billion to address health care needs
  • Health Resources and Services Administration – $7.6 billion to support expanded health care services for underserved populations
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – $2 billion for state, local, territorial and tribal public health departments
  • National Institutes of Health – $4.745 billion to expand COVID-19 research at NIH and academic institutions across the country and to support the shutdown and startup costs of biomedical research laboratories nationwide
  • The bill will now head over to the Senate where debates will begin. This is a developing story – we will provide updates as they occur. 



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