The web survey was carried out from Jan. 15 by way of Feb. 7, 2021.
“We have been definitely seeing people delay coming in for radiation due to issues associated to COVID,” Dr. Karen Winkfield, govt director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance in Nashville, Tenn., mentioned on the information convention. “However we have now carried out a beautiful job in radiation oncology departments across the nation with ensuring our sufferers and our workers are secure.”
Sufferers are additionally returning for most cancers screening, Winkfield added.
Shelley Fuld Nasso, chief govt officer of the Nationwide Coalition for Most cancers Survivorship, in Silver Spring, Md., mentioned whereas telemedicine has proved vital, many sufferers lack entry or the power to make use of the know-how wanted.
For a lot of sufferers, telemedicine creates a sense that wanted emotional help has been misplaced, together with a way of isolation and restricted entry to the most cancers care group, Nasso mentioned.
“We heard from sufferers that they need to have the ability to have entry to the entire group and never simply the one particular person they could be seeing on telehealth,” she mentioned.
Nasso additionally talked about two sufferers whose docs initially handed off their most cancers as one thing else.
“[These patients] needed to be advocates to get their analysis — neither of their cancers would have been detected by screening — however they knew the signs they have been feeling weren’t proper they usually sought remedy, at the same time as they confronted delays within the analysis,” she mentioned.
Not everyone seems to be prepared or capable of advocate for themselves, Nasso added.
“We have to be sure that the system works for everybody no matter their well being literacy or their skill to advocate for themselves,” she mentioned.
Pandemic-related unemployment and the ensuing lack of medical insurance have additionally taken a toll on most cancers screening and analysis, in keeping with Dr. Laura Makaroff, senior vp for prevention and early detection on the American Most cancers Society.
However Makaroff predicted that as extra People are vaccinated, will increase in screening and most cancers diagnoses will comply with.
“Individuals will really feel extra comfy moving into for well being care, however I believe we as a nation have to additionally acknowledge that we have now work to do to cut back these boundaries in order that sufferers are capable of have interaction in care safely and perceive that threat of delaying care or delaying screening is much higher than any threat of potential COVID publicity,” Makaroff mentioned.