Many people avoid a doctor’s office for screenings like a mammogram or pap smear at the start of the pandemic.

But now, all these months later, things aren’t much better.

“In spite of the fact that many restrictions have been lifted, 50 percent of women still haven’t scheduled a visit with their primary care physician or their OBGYN and that’s pretty startling,” said Dr. Angela Jones.

Jones is an OBGYN in New Jersey and hosts the Ask Dr. Angela podcast.

A new survey by Prevent Cancer Foundation revealed that while 90 percent of women visited friends, dined out and shopped, only 48 percent visited their doctor’s offices. Many women said they feared being exposed to COVID and discomfort from the exams. But Dr. Angela says what they really should fear is a missed chance for an early diagnosis.

“Unfortunately I see that firsthand with women finally starting to trickle back into the office,” she said. “Within the past couple of months, I can’t tell you the number of cases of cancer that I have diagnosed that may have been preventable if women had come in for routine screenings.”

Dr. Angela says women are often focused on everyone but themselves. She urges people to talk to the important women in their lives and encourage them to make their health a priority.

“Women pretty much run everything and in order for us to be able to do what we need to do, we need to be around,” she said.

For how often you should seek cancer screenings, and at what age, you can head to Prevent Cancer Foundation’s website. There you will find advice for the whole family including men, women and even kids.