Getting Your Cancer Screenings and Treatments at This Time

In Breast Cancer, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

I am the first person to follow the rules and regulations imposed in the jurisdiction where I live and encourage others to do the same in order to hopefully create the best scenario for a society of peaceful coexistence. The same has applied during the current social distancing rules that have been imposed in my City and State. However, that doesn’t mean that I have not been reading and following all of the latest medical information that I receive in my daily news feeds as well as what has been occurring across this country and other countries throughout the world as people are having restrictions loosened. However, when our mayor yesterday indicated that the shutdown will continue until July/August or until a “cure” is found and that we must wear masks whenever we step outside of our homes, even if we are walking alone, etc., I found that to be a bit much for those of us who are fortunate enough to live in a sunny climate with wonderful temperatures and scientific information being shared about the positive effect that this has on our health in the current pandemic.

“Your medical professionals want the best for you and if you trusted them before the pandemic, no outside interference, even this virus, should change your commitment to the best advice and help that you can possibly receive from those who know your personal situation the best.”Barbara Jacoby

Now I am not a rebel who is going to go out and defy the regulations but I am also more than a bit upset about the fear mongering that has been going on since the arrival of this virus and the conflicting, ever-changing advice about what the experts have been giving over the last several months. I do understand that what we are learning has been growing and changing on a daily basis which is perfectly logical. But, what has bothered me more than anything is that there seems to be a concerted effort to continue to scare people rather than to inform them about what is the reality of the situation. To tell a group of citizens that they will not be allowed to return to any semblance of their previous lives until a cure is found, knowing full well that there is a very real possibility that a cure will never be found, is the saddest thing that I have heard since this pandemic first started to take its own toll on our citizens.

According to a recent article that I read, “breast and cervical cancer screenings fell by 94% in March compared to the 2017-2019 averages, while colon cancer screenings dropped by 86%, the researchers found”. But, as regulations are relaxed, there is a very real concern that screenings may not pick up as the fear of the virus exceeds the concern about what a delayed or postponed screening may have on the thinking of an individual.

For those who are/were currently undergoing or waiting for cancer treatments, the challenges that they face are multi-faceted. In many cases, treatment has been halted or significantly delayed because of restrictions at hospitals and other health care facilities that will not allow for these treatments to be given or these surgeries to be performed. The stress and anxiety and pain that many patients were already suffering has now been increased to unbelievable levels because of the information that they are receiving in the news and the knowledge that they may already have compromised immune systems depending upon their personal circumstances. And when they are being further restricted in everything else that they are currently doing in their daily lives, their fear of loss is much greater than their hope of a promising future as they face the road ahead.

As I have been encouraging current patients who have reached out to me at this time, it is my fondest hope that every patient, regardless of where they may be in their treatment course, be in contact with their medical professionals to assist them with information and help at every level. These are the people who best know you and your precise medical status at this time and have guided you through that which you have already experienced. You trusted them with every detail of your health and medical treatment and hopefully you will not let your fears of what you are hearing outside of your doctors’ recommendations and directions to interfere with what you may think that you know about the virus and your vulnerability. The most successful outcomes can only happen when the doctor/patient relationship is secure and that mutually agreed upon treatments are shared to the fullest. Your medical professionals want the best for you and if you trusted them before the pandemic, no outside interference, even this virus, should change your commitment to the best advice and help that you can possibly receive from those who know your personal situation the best.