Don’t let the fear of COVID-19 scare you from staying healthy
In the uncertain times we are currently experiencing in healthcare, it can be very overwhelming to try to keep up with the ever-changing recommendations for health prevention. The current COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way healthcare providers are caring for patients by reducing the number of routine and preventative care visits to help focus our resources on the sick and acute care needs of our community. Also, many patients are fearful to go to healthcare facilities to get routine tests done right now out of worry they will be at a higher risk of becoming in contact with the virus. These changes in routine care have many health experts concerned there will be long term consequences due to the delay in care of many preventative screenings. This is estimated to lead to thousands of undiagnosed cancers that could have been treated earlier. Also, patients who defer management of their chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, could face harmful outcomes later down the road if these conditions are not managed correctly and efficiently.
Staying safe and protecting yourself from the virus does not necessarily mean you should forego all routine visits to your healthcare provider or give up on all preventative care. Many healthcare providers can provide telephone visits with patients to help manage chronic conditions so these high-risk patients can stay home. If you are at high risk for certain cancers due to personal or family history, you should continue to have your routine screenings such as mammograms, Pap smears, colonoscopies, etc. Facilities are taking precautions to keep you safe and are doing their best to provide a clean environment for these screenings. There are now even at home tests for colon cancer screening that you can complete without leaving your home if you qualify for this.
Postponing routine check-ups to your healthcare provider could put your health at risk. Please speak with your provider about steps you can take to keep your preventative care and screenings up to date while remaining safe during the pandemic. It is our responsibility to keep you and our community safe and healthy and this means taking care of all your chronic and acute health care needs.