LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — State health officials today are reporting 891 new cases and 19 deaths due to the novel coronavirus in Michigan, bringing the total to 125,578 cases and 6,781 deaths.
Of the 19 deaths, 11 were identified during a vital records review.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and The American Cancer Society urges women to talk to their doctors to find out what’s best for them.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, elective medical procedures, including cancer screening, were largely put on hold to prioritize urgent needs and reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in healthcare settings. One consequence of this has been a substantial decline in cancer screening.
As Michigan eases some restrictions, many healthcare facilities are starting to offer elective procedures again, including cancer screening. Restarting cancer screening requires careful consideration of the risks and benefits of screening, along with ensuring safety for both patients and healthcare personnel.
“Finding breast cancer early and getting high-quality cancer treatment are the most important strategies to prevent deaths from breast cancer. Getting regular screening tests is a critically important part of finding breast cancer early,” said Dr. Laura Makaroff, Senior Vice President, Prevention and Early Detection for the American Cancer Society. “Breast cancer screening disparities are already evident and without focused attention, are likely to increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to promote breast cancer screening and overcome barriers for populations with low screening prevalence must be at the forefront of our focus,” said Makaroff.
As your regular facility for health care returns to providing cancer screening, it’s important that it is done as safely as possible.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommendations for healthcare facilities to reduce the risk of COVID transmission:
- Screening centers should be available to answer questions from patients via phone or web portal before and/or after the screening procedure.
- Patients should be pre-screened for COVID-related symptoms before screening appointments.
- Scheduling of appointments should allow for physical distancing between patients, and longer appointment times, if needed, to avoid crowding in waiting rooms and patient care areas.
- There should be limitations on visitors other than patients and/or their caregivers into the screening facility.
- If not done in front of the patient, the screening center should be able to explain how often equipment and surfaces are disinfected and cleaned.
- Everyone, including patients and staff, should wear a face covering or face mask, where appropriate. There should be frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer by staff, patients, and visitors.