The Coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately led to many people not going to see their doctor on a regular basis for fear of contracting the virus from others around them (or, according to the CDC via KCRG, erratic hours of operation at medical facilities due to COVID). But one of the most serious declines in seeking needed medical care has been when it comes to cancer screenings.

KCRG says that a study from the Journal of Preventive Medicine showed an 84 percent decline in cervical cancer screenings as well an 87 percent decline in breast cancer screenings in 2020.

Surgical oncologist Dr. Vincent Reid of MercyOne said it's crucial to get regular screening because the survival rate of early breast cancer detection alone is 98 percent. Reed is concerned about the decline in screenings.

the long term will have a significant impact and cancer outcome and cancer death rates, for example, and we won’t know some of those impacts for years to come. What we do know is that the preliminary data is already showing that that is the direction in which you’re headed

The American Cancer Society has posted an important guide to when individuals should begin getting screened for various cancers, and to continue doing so regularly after that.

Dr. Reid wants to encourage people to set aside their fears of visiting a doctor, and begin scheduling your cancer screenings soon. It could save your life. Reid says "hospitals certainly can mitigate risks. That’s what we do on a day-to-day basis, I don’t think individuals should put off necessary cancer screening because I think this could lead to devastating outcomes."