MILWAUKEE - It's being called a life-saving initiative in the face of COVID. Doctors and cancer experts are coming together in September and October, sharing a crucial message about cancer prevention.
FOX6 found why getting appointments back on the books is even more important now.
We might be out of lockdown, but the fear of entering certain environments is still binding for some.
"We certainly know that the pandemic played a huge role in preventing women from getting in to see their doctors for a team visit," said Dr. Angela Jones.
She says a survey from the Prevent Cancer Foundation found the pandemic has affected women getting their important screening tests.
"Almost a quarter, 24% of it women, to be exact, between the ages of 40 and 60 hasn’t seen their OB/GYN or primary care physician in like, 36 months," she said. "We are still seeing less than 50% of women scheduling appointments with her OB/GYN and primary care physicians."
Doctors are encouraging women to put trepidation aside.
"Whether it’s a hospital or doctor's office, we are all following proper protocols," she said.
With September being Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month and October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Jones is encouraging women to get appointments for their annual exams and cancer screenings back on the books.
"I am unfortunately diagnosing a lot more cancer," she said. "We are seeing things that may be could’ve been prevented if we hadn’t waited a year."
She added that annual doctor visits can play a critical role in detecting cancer early before physical signs or symptoms appear and give better odds at treating it.
"Please make yourself a priority," said Dr. Jones. "This isn’t just about you. It’s also about your family and those people that rely on you. You matter, but it’s really important for you to make sure you were taken care of so you can be there for others that depend on you."
For more details about various screenings and tests, click here.