The long-lasting impact of patients delaying their preventive health screenings and appointments has continued to linger well past the initial year of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, 32 percent of U.S. adults canceled their annual wellness checkups and screenings. Delaying routine health appointments can be detrimental to your health if your condition worsens without seeking professional medical help. These important appointments can help prevent, manage or treat many conditions if caught early.
As the new year begins, it is the perfect opportunity to get your health back on track with the following appointments:
Annual physicals allow your primary care provider to look over your health history and catch any irregularities during the physical exam. With more people being sedentary and gaining weight because of the pandemic, a physical can be beneficial as your provider can evaluate your nutrition and exercise habits to help you get your health back on track. Providers can also schedule routine blood work and provide referrals as necessary.
Women should continue to attend a yearly well-visit to undergo a gynecological and breast exam. These simple screenings can catch cancer and many other conditions in their early stages. Patients who are pregnant or are actively trying to get pregnant should also keep their obstetrics appointments as scheduled. Pre-natal, intrapartum and postpartum care is the key to a healthy mom and baby.
Being proactive about your health also includes attending scheduled cancer screenings. Breast, prostate, colon, lung and cervical cancer screenings are important for early detection. A study found that there was a 46 percent decrease in cancer diagnoses during the first year of the pandemic due to skipped and canceled cancer screenings2.
- Prostate screening
- Lung cancer screening
- Pap smear
Whether you have a skin, hair or nail condition, dermatology appointments are important in treating your condition before it worsens. These appointments can also include skin exams which allow our dermatologists to examine any moles or skin irregularities that could lead to cancer.
Cancer Treatment or Dialysis
If you are undergoing treatment for cancer, make sure to reschedule your appointments as soon as possible to ensure your treatment plan stays on track. Patients with kidney dysfunction are strongly encouraged to continue their dialysis schedule to avoid any complications.
Mental Health Visits
With so many of us still limiting our social interactions, it’s important to address any feelings of depression or anxiety that may have become worse. Talking with your primary care doctor or a behavioral health expert can ensure comprehensive health, both mentally and spiritually.
Have 2022 be a fresh start for your health and schedule your appointments online to get your health back on track.
1Czeisler, M. E., Marynak, MPP, K., Clarke, MD, K. E., Salah, MPH, Z., Shakya, MPH, I., Thierry, PhD, J. M., … Howard, MBBS, PhD, M. E. (2020, September 11). Delay or Avoidance of Medical Care Because of COVID-19 – Related Concerns — United States. In Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a4.htm
2Kaufman, MD, H. W., Chen, MS, Z., & Niles, MA, J. (2029, August 4). Changes in the Number of US Patients With Newly Identified Cancer Before and During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. In JAMA Network. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2768946