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Is it safe to get cancer screenings?

To the editor:

As a result of COVID-19, many people had to put off their cancer screening. This means thousands of people may not catch cancer early, when it is easier to treat or when it could even be prevented. The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Northeastern NY encourages anyone who has delayed their breast, cervical or colorectal cancer screening to schedule it now.

New York state is getting back to business, and many health care providers are scheduling cancer screening. Medical offices are taking steps so that screening can be done more safely. These steps may include:

¯ asking patients about COVID-19 symptoms before they have their appointments

¯ providing face masks and hand sanitizer

¯ adding more time between patient appointments

¯ frequent disinfecting and cleaning

¯ spacing chairs in waiting areas so that people can social distance.

There is also a screening test for colorectal cancer that can be done from home. Call the CSP to find out more about colon cancer screening and the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) take-home kit.

The CSP is here to give information about cancer screening and help those who do not have insurance. The CSP provides free breast and cervical screenings to women age 40 and over and free colorectal screenings to men and women age 50 and over.

Call the CSP of Northeastern NY at 518-324-7671 for more information.

Christina Battinelli

CSP of Northeastern NY

Supported with funds from the state of New York

Plattsburgh