Valley doctor fearful COVID-19 pandemic could cause spike in cancer cases

Dec 13, 2021, 4:45 AM
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — In the past year, COVID-19 has taken over cancer as the leading cause of death in the U.S., but it also could be the catalyst for a spike in cancer deaths.

Many people have delayed going to scheduled cancer screenings during COVID-19 out of fear of contracting the virus.

Sandra Olvera, a family nurse practitioner at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Phoenix, said it was a trend in her clinic.

“In 2020, we saw a dramatic decrease in patients coming back for their routine surveillance, at least with our program the majority of our patients are breast cancer survivors,” Olvera said.

A study done by ScienceDirect found that in 2020, breast cancer screenings among Hispanic women went down by 84%. For American Indian/Alaska Native women, the rate was down 98% compared to the past five years.

Olvera says after the COVID-19 vaccine become available, more patients have started to reschedule their routine screenings.

Even so, professionals worry the delay in cancer screenings will lead to more advanced cancer diagnoses.

“We are seeing patients coming in and because of delay of care, delay of screening they’re being seen for more advanced cases of cancer,” Olvera said.

The American Cancer Society estimated for 2021 in Arizona, there would be 12,510 deaths out of 39,640 new cancer diagnoses.

Olvera urges everyone to get their cancer screenings back on track because it can save lives.

“It can reduce your chance of early death, can help with advanced treatments and make sure patients have a better prognosis,” Olvera said.

Depending on age, Olvera recommends for women to get their annual pap smear and mammogram and for men to make sure they’re getting a prostate check.

She added both men and women should be screened for colon and skin cancers.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Arizona DPS Photo)...

2 suspects arrested after nearly 150 pounds of cocaine found during Arizona traffic stop

Two suspects were arrested after nearly 150 pounds of cocaine were recovered during a traffic stop in Arizona.
21 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Aaron Lieberman)...

Aaron Lieberman suspends campaign for governor of Arizona

Aaron Lieberman announced on Friday that he is suspending his campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor of Arizona.
21 hours ago
(File Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)...

43 alleged sexual predators arrested across Valley as part of undercover operation

Federal and local authorities teamed up to 43 arrests as part of an undercover operation targeting alleged sexual predators in metro Phoenix.
21 hours ago
Switchbacks for roads cut through three ridges in the area being worked for Hudbay Minerals Inc. in...
Associated Press

Tribal request to halt Arizona copper mine work is denied

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a request by Native American tribes to stop Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. from preparing a planned new Arizona copper mine’s site in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson. U.S. District Judge James Soto refused to issue a temporary restraining order and dismissed the lawsuit filed by […]
21 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation File Photo)...

Traffic on highway between Phoenix and Payson delayed because of brush fire

Traffic on State Route 87 was delayed Friday afternoon because of a brush fire along the route between Phoenix and Payson.
21 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Phoenix temperatures expected to dip as Memorial Day weekend unfolds

After a toasty start, temperatures in metro Phoenix are expected to dip over the course of Memorial Day weekend, according to weather experts.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
Valley doctor fearful COVID-19 pandemic could cause spike in cancer cases