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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:
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.
Sandhya Pruthi, M.D.
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