For patients undergoing active cancer treatment and their caregivers, the situation is a daunting one even more so than usual. Cancer patients are at higher risk for COVID-19 infection and complications due to their immunocompromised state, but ongoing treatment is critical to their longer term health.
But physicians and healthcare experts are warning cancer patients – in fact, anyone facing a medical issue – not to ignore the problem or delay treatment simply out of fear driven by the pandemic.
“Every day, we are seeing reports that more and more people are holding off on important medical screenings and vaccinations out of fear of exposure. I [recently] read a Wall Street Journal article that new cancer diagnoses have decreased by a staggering 30 percent,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently said. “Please do not risk your health by delaying important appointments. Medical providers and healthcare facilities are open and have safeguards in place for patients.”
That certainly includes Longstreet Clinic oncologists and staff, who are still working hard to treat cancer. The only difference now is that they are working just as hard to provide both safety from COVID-19 infection and a steady balance of information for their patients about their cancers and the pandemic.
One patient recently shared her story of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment during the pandemic. Joyce’s journey highlights both the importance of early detection and diagnosis, as well as the opportunity to continue treatment safely so that once we’re on the other side of this pandemic, there’s also the opportunity to be closer to “cancer free.”