Should I postpone a routine cancer screening because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic?

回答 Sandhya Pruthi, M.D.

As stay-at-home orders are relaxed or lifted, health care facilities are beginning to schedule routine cancer screenings, tests and exams again. These cancer screenings are regularly scheduled tests to check for cancer in people with no symptoms.

If you're due — or overdue — for a routine cancer screening right now, here are some things to consider:

  • Early detection could make a difference. Routine cancer screenings are still important. Generally, the later cancer is detected, the more serious and involved treatment becomes. Catching cancer at an earlier stage may make cancer easier to treat and improve outcomes. If you're considered high-risk, it's especially important for you to stick to a regular screening schedule.
  • Every community is unique. Depending on the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in your area, policies may differ. Some health care facilities may be open during regular hours, while others may be operating only on a part-time basis. This may impact the availability of time slots for your screening.
  • Alternative testing options may be available. Many types of screening exams — such as a mammogram, colonoscopy, Pap smear, human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, PSA test and lung cancer screening — require an in-person visit. But no-contact options may be available for certain screenings, such as fecal occult blood testing or stool DNA testing (Cologuard) for colon cancer, which involve collecting a stool sample at home and mailing it to your doctor.

    If you're due for a skin cancer screening, telemedicine may be available. Telemedicine involves taking photos of anything new, changing or unusual on your skin and sending them to your doctor.

If it's time for your routine cancer screening, talk with your doctor about the best health approach for you.

Oct. 15, 2020 See more Expert Answers

也可查阅

  1. Can COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread through food, water, surfaces and pets?
  2. COVID-19 and vitamin D
  3. Safe cancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic
  4. Cancer treatment during COVID-19: How to move ahead safely
  5. Convalescent plasma therapy
  6. Coronavirus safety tips for going out
  7. COVID-19
  8. 冠状病毒疾病:这是什么疾病,如何自我保护?
  9. Coronavirus grief
  10. Coronavirus travel advice
  11. Coronavirus vs. flu: Similarities and differences
  12. Cough
  13. Herd immunity and coronavirus
  14. COVID-19 and high blood pressure
  15. COVID-19 and pets
  16. COVID-19 and the risk of suicide
  17. COVID-19 and your mental health
  18. COVID-19 antibody testing
  19. COVID-19 and holidays
  20. COVID-19 (coronavirus) drugs: Are there any that work?
  21. COVID-19 (coronavirus) in babies and children
  22. Long-term effects of COVID-19
  23. COVID-19 (coronavirus) stigma: What it is and how to reduce it
  24. COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine
  25. COVID-19 tests
  26. COVID-19: How much protection do face masks offer?
  27. Coping with unemployment caused by COVID-19
  28. COVID-19 (coronavirus): Quarantine, self-isolation and social distancing
  29. COVID-19: Social distancing, contact tracing are critical
  30. COVID-19: Who's at higher risk of serious symptoms?
  31. Debunking coronavirus myths
  32. Diarrhea
  33. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  34. Surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic
  35. Fever
  36. Fever: First aid
  37. Fever treatment: Quick guide to treating a fever
  38. Getting safe emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic
  39. Kids, loneliness and COVID-19
  40. Honey: An effective cough remedy?
  41. How do COVID-19 antibody tests differ from diagnostic tests?
  42. How to take your pulse
  43. How to measure your respiratory rate
  44. How to safely go to your doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic
  45. How to take your temperature
  46. How to talk to your kids about COVID-19
  47. Loss of smell
  48. Mayo Clinic Minute: You're washing your hands all wrong
  49. Mayo Clinic Minute: How dirty are common surfaces?
  50. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)
  51. Nausea and vomiting
  52. Neurosurgery during the COVID-19 pandemic
  53. Parenting and special needs during a pandemic
  54. Pregnancy and COVID-19
  55. Coronavirus infection by race
  56. Red eye
  57. Safe outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic
  58. Safety tips for returning to school during COVID-19
  59. Sex and COVID-19
  60. 呼吸短促
  61. Skin care tips during a pandemic
  62. Stay healthy during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic
  63. Stay on track with medications during a pandemic
  64. Telemedicine online doctor visits
  65. Teleworking during the coronavirus
  66. Thermometers: Understand the options
  67. Video: Travel safely for medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic
  68. Treating COVID-19 at home
  69. Unusual symptoms of coronavirus
  70. Watery eyes
  71. Fight coronavirus transmission at home
  72. Contact tracing and COVID-19: What is it and how does it work?
  73. What's causing my infant's diarrhea?