CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- Health officials are still urging people to stay home, as much as possible, to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
At the same time, health centers in many parts of the country are starting to schedule screenings and procedures again. Charlotte oncologist, Dr. Justin Favaro says getting back on track with regular exams should be a priority.
“I think there’s been a lot of fear. I mean people are very scared, understandably so.”
Dr. Favaro with Oncology Specialists of Charlotte says cancer does not stop for COVID-19. He says patients, even those considered high-risk for coronavirus, should not be afraid to go to the doctor.
“For the majority of those patients, the biggest threat to their lives is the cancer and so we’ve encouraged them to continue coming in to our office for treatments.”
Dr. Favaro says it is important to keep up with regular exams, like mammograms, even if you are not showing symptoms.
“Getting screening tests can save your life because if you can detect a cancer early, you can often remove it with surgery and sometimes that doesn’t even require any additional chemotherapy.”
He says delaying screenings or treatment could have grave consequences.
“If you don’t get that colonoscopy and we put it off six months, if there is cancer in your colon for six months, it has the potential to spread. It could potentially become incurable.”
Dr. Favaro urges people not to let their health go during the pandemic.
“It’s beyond just getting your screening test. It is people out of work and people staying at home and adopting unhealthy lifestyles.”
Dr. Favaro says medical offices like Oncology Specialists of Charlotte are implementing safety measures, such as temperature checks, having patients fill out symptom surveys, extra cleaning and limiting the number of people inside the office at one time.