From Evan Z. Lang, MD, MS, medical oncologist and hematologist

February 9, 2022

According to a statement from The White House, more than 9.5 million cancer screenings in the U.S. were missed because of the COVID pandemic. Lockdowns, fear of exposure, and strained hospital resources have led to delayed screenings and treatment. In addition, patients have been making fewer visits to the doctor to discuss concerning symptoms and signs. Although recent advances in medicine have reduced the cancer mortality rate, my colleagues and I fear with the ongoing pandemic many patients will continue to fall behind on regular screenings. We know a delayed cancer diagnosis can result in more advanced cancer with harmful consequences.

According to the American Cancer Society, at the beginning of the pandemic, cancer screening rates decreased by an astounding 90 percent for breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancer. At OHC, we are encouraged to see that screening rates have begun rebounding. February is National Cancer Prevention Month. This month, and throughout the calendar year, OHC emphasizes the importance of cancer screenings and cancer prevention recommendations. We maintain an up-to-date listing of cancer screening guidelines here:

OHC keeps the safety and health of its patients and staff at the forefront of our minds. Last fall, we required all employees to receive the COVID vaccine. We stand with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and their recommendation that all eligible persons receive the COVID vaccine. Cancer patients and caregivers should be fully immunized, which includes receiving the boosters. Cancer patients are among the immunocompromised, making them more vulnerable to infections like COVID-19.

Be assured that healthcare facilities have several safety protocols in place to protect patients, caregivers, and staff from COVID. We urge you not to delay any medical attention or cancer screenings. If you notice bothersome and/or unusual symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.

OHC’s leading cancer specialists remain at the forefront of cancer care offering patients the most advanced therapies and early access to novel treatments through clinical trials. For more information on our doctors or to request a second opinion, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit

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