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The importance of cancer screenings in a pandemic

The Victory Center did see an increased number of people with later stage cancers in the early stages of the pandemic
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 6:30 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Experts say a lot of people postponed or even skipped important cancer screenings altogether because of the pandemic. In some cases, that meant people were diagnosed with later-stage cancer than they otherwise would have.

Dianne Barndt is the Executive Director.

“We found a lot of people were diagnosed later than they probably would have been because they either couldn’t get in for an appointment, or they were nervous about it because of COVID-19,” says Dianne Barndt, Executive Director for The Victory Center. “In recent months we have started to see less of that. However, we’re now starting to see younger people in their 20s and 30s being diagnosed.”

Barndt says younger people being diagnosed may or may not have had anything to do with the pandemic. But she emphasizes no matter what your age, don’t put off cancer screenings. “The American Cancer Society does a great job of putting information out about what screenings you should get at what age. Also, your doctor can tell you what screenings you need to have depending on your age or family history.”

And timing makes a big difference. “So many cancers today can be treated successfully if caught early. But the longer you wait, the harder it is to combat that.”

There are dozens of free programs for patients, survivors and their loved ones. “While you are going through treatment we have things like free massages, reiki, reflexology, facials. We also have exercise groups and various support groups. For survivors, we have group activities like art therapy and aromatherapy classes. We have nutrition classes, book clubs and knitting classes. We also have programs for the loved ones of patients and survivors.”

Just like screenings, if you’re diagnosed with cancer, Barndt says don’t put off connecting with The Victory Center. Because what happens at the center helps people get through some of the darkest days of their lives. “We’ve seen it all. We’ve helped people with every diagnosis imaginable. We can help match you with others, so you have someone to bounce questions off of and to talk to about what you are going through. That is so helpful for so many people. I think the most amazing part of working here is seeing the transformation in people thanks to the support and love they receiver here.”

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