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Local health officals encourage people to get cancer screening before it's too late

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Posted at 6:23 PM, Oct 19, 2021

Health officials at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center say they've seen a decrease in people putting off screenings because of the pandemic among other things.

For starters going for a cancer screening whether it is a diagnostic exam or simply just a first-time screening is never easy.

"I myself am a cancer survivor so I can speak personally, receiving a cancer diagnosis your world kind of stops,” said the Executive Director of the Cancer Support Community, Candice Sanders.

For Sanders, receiving the news came at a shock.

"Even if you don't have a family history of cancer, I myself did not have one so it was really a shock for me and my family when I was diagnosed,” said Sanders.

This is why Sanders emphasizes the importance of it.

According to the CDC, the total number of cancer screening tests received by women through the CDC's national breast and cervical cancer early detection program declined by 87% for breast cancer during April 2020 compared with the previous 5-year averages.

Central Coast doctors say they also saw the decline.

"The percentage of what we call survivorship 5-year survivorship or the curate was up in a high 90 and that number dropped very quickly within a year or two,” said an Inpatient Cancer Navigator at Sierra Vista Medical Center, Kitt Kelly.

At Selma Carlson Diagnostic Center located at Tenant Health, things like 2D and 3D mammography have made a difference in many women's lives due to early detection and the advanced technology, specifically, a 3D mammography has to offer.

Doctors say prolonged delays in screening are related to the Covid-19 pandemic and have led to many health consequences something they don't want to see especially when it comes to cancer.

With October being cancer awareness month it's important to know the help here on the Central Coast like the cancer support community who is there to guide those being impacted.

"It really truly helps the overall well-being, it works in collaboration with the medical treatment and it also helps to give back hope,” said Sanders.

According to health care professionals, a screening typically takes about 10-15 minutes.