Prevent Cancer Foundation announces “Back on the Books” — A lifesaving initiative in the face of COVID-19

Contact: Lisa Berry Edwards

Living in the pandemic has been frightening. Every day, headlines shout new, sometimes conflicting information causing fear and confusion. One result is fewer Americans seeing their doctors for routine exams and screenings.

A survey released today by the Prevent Cancer Foundation, America’s leading cancer prevention-focused nonprofit organization, reports:

  • 43% of American adults have missed routine medical appointments because of COVID-19
  • 35% of American adults had a cancer screening scheduled during the pandemic and missed it
  • 22% said their doctor’s or dentist’s office was open, but they wanted to minimize their risk of exposure to COVID-19
  • 44% of those who missed appointments plan to contact the doctor’s office to reschedule
  • 24% expect their doctor’s office to contact them
  • 17% of parents missed a scheduled vaccination for one or more of their children
  • 22% of people who have routine medical appointments or screenings scheduled in the next 3 months plan to postpone or cancel

“The survey shows that, in the wake of the pandemic, people are afraid to go to their doctors. Understandably, there is a lot of fear about exposure to the virus. What we need everyone to know is that missing appointments puts you at much higher risk for serious health issues, such as cancer,” said Carolyn “Bo” Aldigé, Founder and CEO of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “Americans should get medical appointments back on the books and schedule their physicals and routine cancer screenings.”

Leading cancer expert (and former Chief Cancer Control Officer of the American Cancer Society), Dr. Richard Wender agrees.

“Early detection through screening is the most important factor in treating and curing cancer. We applaud the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s ‘Back on the Books campaign and hope that people will take this advice and reschedule appointments with their doctors and dentists as soon as possible,” he said.

“People can feel comfortable that health care professionals are trained on how to see patients safely. Wearing gloves, gowns and masks and implementing other safety precautions reduces risk to patients. Patients should call their doctors and dentists with any questions or concerns,” Wender continued.

There are many ways to reduce your cancer risk, including never smoking, eating a healthy diet, getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week and protecting your skin from the sun. The Prevent Cancer Foundation encourages everyone to make their health a priority. Prevention and early detection matter.

About The Prevent Cancer Foundation®

The Prevent Cancer Foundation is one of the nation’s leading voluntary health organizations and the only U.S. nonprofit organization focused solely on cancer prevention and early detection.  Founded in 1985, it has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence and fulfills its mission through research, education, outreach and advocacy.

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