For 25 years Longstreet Clinic has proudly cared for families across our community. And we’re still here, providing high quality, safe medical care tailored to you. There’s no need to delay the care you need, including preventive care visits.
All of Longstreet Clinic’s locations are open and welcoming patients, as well as taking CDC-recommended precautionary measures to ensure the safest possible environment for care. That includes the resumption of mammograms and colonoscopies, as well as routine physicals and wellness exams.
As the novel coronavirus pandemic spread across the country in March and residents heeded stay-at-home and social distancing recommendations throughout April, it is no surprise that routine screenings, including those for cancer, saw a steep decline.
On May 4, 2020, the Epic Health Research Network (EHRN) published data taken from 2.7 million patient records across 23 states that showed an abrupt and drastic drop – between 86% and 94% – in preventive screenings for breast cancer, colon cancer and cervical cancer when compared to similar periods in 2017-2019. The data has prompted alarm from medical professionals who warn that cancer cases could go undiagnosed or be diagnosed at later stages, which impacts treatment options and health outcomes.
For example, when it comes to colorectal cancer, early stage diagnosis of the disease yields a five-year overall survival rate of over 90 percent. However, survival rates from diagnoses of advanced or late-stage colorectal cancers is as low as 10-15 percent.
“It’s important to get screened and catch it before it’s too late,” said Dr. Fernando Aycinena, a board-certified colorectal surgeon at Longstreet Clinic. “Your chances of being cured are much better in the early stage. And just because you feel fine doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.”
Similarly, screening can prevent most cervical cancers by detecting abnormal cell changes so they can be treated before turning into cancers.
And we know that early detection saves lives when it comes to breast cancer , with the 5-year survival rate for an early stage, localized (cancer located only in the breast) diagnosis at 99% (American Cancer Society).
On May 19 EHRN published additional data showing that pediatric immunizations had dropped 42% in the spring of 2020 when compared to previous years. Immunizations play a critical role in pediatric preventive care by providing individual protection for children as well as overall herd immunity.
“Vaccines, quite simply, protect children from illnesses that can have devastating consequences and did in the past,” Longstreet Clinic pediatrician Dr. Curtis Malcom said. “Vaccines also help protect the population as a whole because children too young to receive immunizations are protected from these illnesses if they can be surrounded by immunized individuals. It is far safer for a child to receive immunity from a vaccine than from building immunity through the illness itself.”
In addition, we are encouraging the community not to ignore their medical symptoms and delay care out of fear of COVID-19. Your safety is our priority, and our team is happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. When appropriate, telehealth options remain available.
Our Urgent Care in Gainesville is open to the community. We have resumed normal hours (open until 9 p.m. weekdays and 3 p.m. on weekends). Our large, spacious waiting area makes it possible to practice social distancing, and we continue thorough cleaning practices of exam areas between patients. We’re here when you need us, seven days a week.
Why delay? Get the care you need today.