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Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from getting cancer screenings

Colon and rectal cancer screenings should start at 45, new guidelines say
Posted at 8:35 AM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 08:35:43-05

LANSING, Mich. — When it comes to cancer, every second counts. Regular screenings are crucial to detection and treatment before cancer spreads and can make the difference between catastrophic consequences or a life as a survivor.

Colonoscopies [], mammograms [], and lung cancer screenings [] are among the potentially life-saving tests that many people have put off over fears of being exposed to COVID-19. In fact, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control [] shows 41% of Americans say they’ve delayed or avoided seeking care due to concerns over the virus.

Because of this, hospitals across the country are seeing patients who face cancer that has spread further, chronic diseases that have worsened, and illnesses that are more severe. For those with undetected cancers, the time that passes before a tumor is discovered in a screening could mean their options for surgery and treatment are extremely limited.

The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 99% for tumors located within the breast [], but drops to 27% once the cancer has metastasized to distant parts of the body. The 90% five-year survival rate for colon cancer [] falls to just 14% after it spreads, and the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is just 5% [] after spreading to distant parts of the body.

Knowing this, the message from cancer experts is clear: don’t delay your care.

It’s smart to stay vigilant and protect yourself from COVID-19, and McLaren Greater Lansing is going above and beyond [] to ensure patients, visitors, and staff are safe. Their stringent protocols include separating patients for care if they have COVID-19 symptoms, encouraging social distancing during visits, and frequently disinfecting high-touch areas, all while using the right protective equipment.

Cancer doesn’t wait for COVID-19, and you shouldn’t wait to be screened. McLaren Greater Lansing is here for you to provide the right care, right now.

Ways to take the next step:

  • Find a primary care physician accepting new patients to discuss a colonoscopy by clicking here [].
  • Learn more about lung cancer screenings by clicking here [].
  • Click here [] for information on how to schedule a mammogram at McLaren’s Breast Care Center.

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