Medical professionals see preventive screenings surge as state reopens

Medical professionals see preventive screenings surge as state reopens
Impact of cancer screening closures

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The pandemic may have put many things on hold but cancer treatments was not one of them.

Had this been extended for a longer period of time, then we would really start being concerned about some of those patients that may have been caught early, now they have metastatic or incurable disease.
Gary Walton, Clearview Cancer Institute CEO

When we last talked to Clearview Cancer Institute in April they told us they were expecting a surge in cancer patients when things started to reopen. Right now they’re seeing just that.

Preventive screenings for colonoscopies and mammograms were closed during the first phase of the ‘Stay-at-Home’ order, but now these tests are keeping schedules full for some local health care workers.

CCI CEO Gary Walton says now that those screenings are taking place again, they are very busy. Clearview is keeping its imaging center open later and on weekends. We asked Walton if some new cancer patients were in worse shape since their cancer was found later. He says it could have been a big problem if the screening centers were closed longer.

“Within five or six weeks most of the patients should be fine, as long as we get them in, and we’re efficient and we do what we need to do to develop a treatment plan,” said Walton.

“Had this been extended for a longer period of time, then we would really start being concerned about some of those patients that may have been caught early, now they have metastatic or incurable disease.”

Clearview is also still not allowing visitors in treatment areas to maintain socially distancing.

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