Will COVID-19 have lasting impacts on cancer? UVA Cancer Center collaborates nationwide to find out.

Will COVID-19 have lasting impacts on cancer? UVA Cancer Center collaborates nationwide to find out.
The University of Virginia Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center (FILE) (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Many in the medical field are worried the coronavirus may have lasting impacts when it comes to cancer, especially because access to crucial screenings and clinical trials may have been restricted these past few months.

The University of Virginia Cancer Center is collaborating with 16 other cancer centers across the country, as well as the National Cancer Institute, to develop a survey to study the impacts of the pandemic on cancer.

They hope survey findings will provide more insight and save lives in the long run.

The National Cancer Institute warns that the pandemic could make it difficult for some patients to undergo critical screenings and procedures and, in turn, result in late-stage diagnosis and cancer deaths.

Wendy Cohn is the associate director of community outreach and engagement at UVA Cancer Center. She says many of us have lost healthy habits that were protecting us from cancer during the pandemic.

“Some of our preventive behaviors have changed, some of our screening behaviors have changed, and we know it’s going to have an impact," Cohn said. "So we’d like to study it so that we can address the impact that it’s going to have and get people back to focusing on cancer screening and cancer prevention.”

The UVA Cancer Center is encouraging everyone to participate and respond to the survey if you do happen to get an email or text.

Cohn says the more engagement from the community, the more feedback they will have to find a solution to the issue.

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