Albert Rizzo, MD, on COVID-19 and Screening Delays

In this 1.5-minute video, Albert Rizzo, MD, gives his thoughts about how COVID-19 has disrupted lung cancer screenings, as well as other cancer screenings and health care visits in general.

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Albert Rizzo, MD, is the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association.



I’m Dr Albert Rizzo. I'm the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association.

COVID-19—really any national emergency, but COVID-19—has disrupted care across the board from office visits being delayed, the number of practitioners able to stay in the office vs being called into the hospital, and also just the fear of patients going out of their homes, going to the facility, to get their normal routine care has been disrupted.

So screenings, not just in lung cancer but screenings of other cancers are being delayed as well. And there's a real concern that we're going to see a resurgence of cancers in the years ahead, which could have been caught if screening had been kept in place.

It’s also disruption, not only to getting screened, but to potential care—patients receiving chemotherapy, patients scheduling biopsies and surgeries. I believe some of that has improved since the initial lockdowns, but unfortunately, right now, we’re in the midst of a much bigger surge going on across the country.

We're hoping that those kinds of services are not going to be delayed, because we know that time with cancer diagnosis is a big factor. The less time you spend in making the diagnosis and treatment, the more survival you have and better outcomes.

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