Some people have put off medical care due to fears of contracting COVID-19. But experts say we can’t let the pandemic stop us from making health a priority, especially when it comes to routine check-ups and screenings.
“If you postpone your routine screenings, it can lead to poorer health outcomes,” said Dr. Neha Vyas of the Cleveland Clinic. “We want to make sure we prevent certain cancers and certain diseases, and in order to do so, we need our patients to come in and also to get their cancer screenings and their vaccines as well.”
Dr. Vyas, a family medicine doctor, says health and medical facilities are taking extra precautions to keep patients safe from COVID-19, so there’s no need to fear a trip to the doctor or hospital. She says the benefits of check-ups and screenings often outweigh any potential risk of contracting Coronavirus while receiving medical care.
Routine exams help you spot and stay on top of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease. Your doctor can also help you keep track of screenings, like when a mammogram or colonoscopy is due. She says cancer screening tests are especially important to keep on your calendar. They give you the best chance to catch cancer early, when it is most treatable.
A visit with your doctor also provides and opportunity to ask about things that may be bothering you.
“You need a trusted primary care provider to talk to them about your concerns, whether they are mental health needs or whether they’re changes in your family history, or anything that’s come up as a result of this past year or two,” Vyas said.
Dr. Vyas says routine check-ups are also important for young adults. Even though they are generally healthy, it’s good to establish a relationship with a physician so that if something does pop up, they are aware of your health history.