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AdventHealth Doctors Remind Patients to Get Yearly Colonoscopies, Mammograms During Pandemic

Photo: Angiola Harry
Photo: Angiola Harry

AdventHealth doctors say it’s not only safe, but recommended, that patients with a family history or other risk factors continue to get cancer screenings during the pandemic. 

Dr. Mark Socinski is the Medical Director of the AdventHealth Cancer Institute. He says they’ve seen fewer people coming in to get mammograms and colonoscopies during the pandemic.

Soncinski says screenings will not put patients at risk for coronavirus and could make the difference between whether their cancer is treatable. 

“It is much more difficult, if not impossible, to cure patients with late advanced-stage disease versus highly curable when they’re detected early and that’s the whole point of screening.”

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Socinski says there has been no noticeable change in the number of patients who have already been diagnosed with cancer seeking treatment.  

He says he thinks the death of actor Chadwick Boseman from colon cancer will only increase people's awareness around the need to know their cancer status.

“I think using common sense. You mentioned are you more afraid of the virus or are you more afraid of the cancer? Being a cancer doctor, we want to identify patients in early stage disease when the cure rates are much higher.”

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The American Cancer Institute estimates more than 10,000 people could die from cancer if they delay diagnosis because of the coronavirus.

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Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.