It’s time to go back. Cancer care is essential care and screenings and treatments can’t wait. That was the message that MSK’s Physician-In-Chief and Chief Medical Officer, Lisa DeAngelis, MD, shared during a recent interview with PBS Metrofocus.
When COVD-19 first hit the tri-state region, non-essential medical visits were put on hold to allow hospitals to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many patients postponed critical cancer screenings. PBS Metrofocus host, Raphael Pia Roman and Dr. DeAngelis discussed why it is crucial for people to keep up with their routine screenings and not put off their care.
“We know that general cancer screening fell by 90 percent during the peak of the pandemic. We don’t want to see cancer progress. If the population returns to regular screening procedures at this point in time, we can avert delayed cancer diagnosis. Patients need to be proactive about their care. An informed patient and family are the best partners for any healthcare team in terms of tackling medical problems.” Dr. DeAngelis said.
Dr. DeAngelis also touched upon the safety measures that have been put in place at MSK to make it safe for patients to come in for their appointments and procedures, including routine testing of patients and staff, social distancing measures, staggering appointments and limiting visitors. MSK doctors work with patients to determine which appointments can held via telemedicine.
“We have to be able to protect our staff and our patients from infection, but at the same time we need to be able to address our patient’s essential needs regarding cancer care and MSK is committed to doing that. If that means that these kinds of safety measures have to persist for the next 6 to 12 months, then that’s what we’ll do to make sure our patients are safe and they can get the kind of care they need.” she continued.
Watch the full interview here.