SOMERSET, N.J., Dec. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As New Jersey deals with the emergence of the highly contagious Omicron COVID-19 variant, it's natural for people to focus on the precautions they need to stay safe. But medical experts warn that delaying routine health screenings could have an adverse effect on your health.
"You need to strike a balance between protecting yourself against COVID-19 and also protecting your health against other conditions that, if detected early, could increase your options for effective treatment," said Brian H. Chon, M.D., medical director at ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset.
Oncologists have been observing significant gaps in cancer screenings since the pandemic began in early 2020. A new nationwide study based on data from Veterans Affairs hospitals, which was released earlier this month, provides additional evidence.
Using 2018 and 2019 as a baseline, 2020 saw the number of completed colonoscopies drop by 45%; proportions of prostate biopsies decrease by 29%; and cystoscopies for diagnosing bladder cancer decrease by 21%, according to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Before an appointment, Dr. Chon encourages patients to ask about policies their doctor has in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They should include enhanced cleaning protocols, social distancing practices, and mask requirements.
Scheduling annual health screenings play an important role in detecting cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. It could mean a less invasive treatment option, like proton therapy, if cancer is found.
Proton therapy at ProCure effectively targets cancer and reduces the risk of serious side effects. Learn more about proton therapy at ProCure: ProCure.com/what-makes-procure-different
ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, NJ, opened in March 2012 as the tri-state region's first proton therapy facility, treating a range of cancers including disease of the prostate, breast, lung, brain, head and neck, and gastrointestinal system, as well as sarcomas and many pediatric cases. Using the most advanced radiation treatment available ProCure has treated more than 5,000 patients and enables many cancer patients to choose a non-surgical treatment personalized to their medical needs and lifestyles, often with fewer side effects and less downtime—giving them more freedom to enjoy what matters most in their lives. For more information, visit ProCure.com.
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SOURCE ProCure Proton Therapy Center