The Prevent Cancer Foundation has released the results of a survey conducted with 2000+ women and people assigned female at birth in the U.S, that shows that women are skipping cancer screenings during the pandemic. 90% of women say when local pandemic restrictions were lifted, they engaged in normal activities, such as visiting family and friends, dining out and shopping, but only 48% of women visited their doctors’ offices, according to the survey.
The survey found that 74% of women who received a COVID-19 vaccine were hesitant to visit a doctor’s office during the first year and a half of the pandemic and that 31% of the women who did not schedule a breast or cervical screening say they were worried about being exposed to the coronavirus. 28% of all women surveyed did not schedule a breast cancer screening and 26% did not schedule a cervical cancer screening during the pandemic.
The Foundation is now encouraging women to prioritize routine preventive care, such as annual exams and cancer screenings. “These cancer screenings are some of the most important steps women can take to take care of their health, including during the pandemic when other obligations may have taken priority,” said Dr. Angela Jones, M.D., FACOG, a board-certified obstetrics and gynecology expert. “Annual doctor visits can play a critical role in detecting cancer early before physical signs or symptoms appear. The earlier cancer is found, the better the odds for successful treatment.”
“With September being Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month and October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there’s an opportunity to place a spotlight on women’s health and increase cancer prevention and early detection,” said Jody Hoyos, president and chief operating officer of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “We’re hopeful awareness will lead to action and women will get their preventive screenings ‘back on the books.'”