An early diagnosis is one of the best assets for people with mesothelioma. Beating this disease often requires identifying it before tumors have spread beyond control.
Even amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, people should seek expert medical insight when they notice symptoms of mesothelioma.
A recent report reveals a drop in cancer diagnoses in the United States since the beginning of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. The likelihood that fewer people have cancer is low. The reality is people aren’t seeking medical help regarding their symptoms.
Fortunately, technology has provided new options for receiving health care from doctors and specialists.
Low Number of Diagnoses for Top Cancer Types
The coronavirus is a respiratory condition. The virus targets your lungs and duplicates until it overwhelms lung tissue. People with current respiratory conditions face the risk of a severe COVID-19 case.
The coronavirus can affect people with mesothelioma, explicitly pleural mesothelioma. This disease forms near the lungs and also can worsen your respiratory health. It’s one of many cancer types that can impact the same area as the coronavirus does.
Fear of coronavirus infection is understandable, but it has delayed people’s response to symptoms. It could lead to undiagnosed people not receiving the medical care they need to fight mesothelioma.
The report analyzed the number of new cases for six cancers: breast, lung, colorectal, gastric, esophageal and pancreatic. There are far more cases of each than the 3,000 new mesothelioma cases in the U.S. each year.
However, the drop in diagnoses can signify a similar one for mesothelioma. From March 1 through April 18, the first seven weeks of the pandemic:
- The weekly diagnostic average for these six cancer types declined by 46.4%.
- Breast cancer diagnoses dropped by 51.8%.
- New pancreatic cancer cases decreased by 24.7%.
Laura Makaroff, the senior vice president of the American Cancer Society, credited the drop to an associated decrease in cancer screenings and tests. She called the result — delayed diagnoses — “a real concern” as it can “lead to more advanced stages of cancer and poorer prognosis.”
There were 4,310 weekly diagnostic tests prior to the pandemic. The number dropped to 2,310 during the crisis.
Options for Mesothelioma Patients or People Seeking Insight Into Symptoms
Virtual appointments (telemedicine) make some aspects of mesothelioma treatment safer for patients. They help people start the diagnostic process without going to the hospital or traveling for medical care or second opinions from a specialist.
Most of the Mesothelioma Centers of Excellence — cancer centers with reputable mesothelioma programs — offer virtual consultations or appointments. Telemedicine options, such as video calls, can reduce travel for patients seeking treatment in another state or region of the United States.
Our patient advocate team can help you connect with a mesothelioma doctor. If you’re already diagnosed and want to find a cancer center for treatment, please email our patient advocate team. Our registered nurse, Karen Ritter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources & Author
- Recent Cancer Diagnoses Far Short of Expectation. MedPage Today. Retrieved from: https://www.medpagetoday.com/hematologyoncology/othercancers/87899. Accessed: 08/18/2020.
Sources & Author