(CBSDFW.COM) – Sunday is “National Cancer Survivors Day, and it’s an opportunity to inspire those recently diagnosed, to support families impacted by cancer and educate the community on the importance of cancer screenings.
At the beginning of the pandemic, cancer screening rates decreased by nearly 90% for breast, cervical, colorectal and lung cancer. Since then, screening rates have rebounded some, but Jeff Fehlis with the American Cancer Society says they still have a long way to go.
“Even today, we are 30% down from pre-pandemic numbers which is significant, because those screenings are really a key to survivorship,” Fehlis says.
Another barrier to both cancer screenings and cancer treatment that has resulted from the pandemic is that roughly 12 million Americans no longer have health insurance as a result of losing their jobs.
The American Cancer Society says there is help for people who do not think they can afford scans or treatment.
Fehlis says the first step is calling their free, 24/7 “Cancer Helpline,” at 1(800)-227-2345, where people can get one-on-one support, information about cancers and be connected with early detection resources.