Screening is crucial to fight against cancer, do not postpone your appointments. This is the appeal launched by Santé Publique France and relayed by all health players across the country, including the regional cancer screening coordination center in New Aquitaine. Last spring during the first confinement exam cancellations and postponements have already strained the situation. If this happens again during this second confinement, the situation will become very worrying, say specialists.
In France, it is estimated that 30,000 cancers have not been diagnosed because of a slowdown in screening.
The number of mammograms down by 25% in Vienne
“There have been fewer screening mammograms and fewer immunological tests performed for colorectal cancer screening”, explains Doctor Caroline Tournoux-Facon, doctor-coordinator for organized cancer screening in Vienne. Until September, according to her, there is a 25% drop in the number of mammograms in Vienne and a 15% decrease in the number of immunological tests.
People went less to their general practitioners to collect their immunological tests
This decrease is explained, according to her, during the first, confinement to the fact that the radiologists had for instructions “to prioritize the acts (…) the screening mammograms were therefore suspended for about two months so the women were not able to have access to the screening centers”, details the doctor.
“Likewise, people went less to their general practitioners to collect their immunological tests”, a test to be done at either after collecting the kit.
For this second confinement the situation is different but the risk of postponing screening is always present. “We must tell women that they do not hesitate to maintain their appointments that they are not afraid to go to the radiology centers to perform this mammogram (…) it is an extremely important examination. “, Caroline Tournoux-Facon alert.
Prevention, screening is a very effective weapon in the fight against cancer – Caroline Tournoux-Facon
She fears that some women will “discourage” faced with the delays in making appointments with the postponements of the first confinement. “We must not say to ourselves” I will do that next year, it does not matter “(…) Prevention, screening is a very effective weapon in the fight against cancer.”
For all people aged 50 to 74, every two years
Detect cancer as early as possible to avoid severe forms as much as possibleis the watchword. “We do not prevent cancer by doing these screening acts but we detect it as early as possible, we detect it at early stages which allow less heavy treatments, more effective and therefore with better survival. It is therefore really important. to do these exams at a regular rate so we invite all people aged 50 to 74 to do these tests every two years “, insists Caroline Tournoux-Facon.
According to her the fact that the morale of the French is at its lowest also plays on delays in screening. “When people are concerned about complicated socio-economic situations, prevention often takes second place “, she observes, but reminds us that getting treatment early is also protecting your job.