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Health screenings remain important during coronavirus pandemic

Avoiding routine exams over concerns about the coronavirus could have serious health effects, medical experts say.

DENVER — While everyone should use extra caution due to the presence of the novel coronavirus, that doesn't mean they should skip out on important medical appointments like cancer screenings and checkups.

These days masks and health screenings which include temperature checks are required at many businesses and medical offices. People are now spending more time out in public under less strict guidelines than they have over the past few months.

Dr. Richard Roman, the president of South Denver Gastroenterology, at Swedish Medical Center, said now more than ever people want to know hospitals are a safe place.

"It's safer than going to any King Soopers, CVS, or any retail store because we are limiting access to certain people. We are prescreening patients that are coming in. We are screening our staff every day and we are observing all the safety practices that need to be observed,” he said.

 He said patients should feel confident they'll be safe and should not avoid routine appointments or postpone getting things checked out. He said missing a doctor's visits may cause a minor condition to escalate to much more something serious.

That is something cancer patients should really pay attention to, according to Roman.

“What has happened and what continues to happen is people delaying care and there are some bad outcomes that result from that," he said. "Relative to cancer screening and cancer treatment, delays in diagnosis, and delays in therapy gaps and therapies can affect prognosis and shorten lifespan and can have really ill effects on patients.

Medical conditions and chronic medical conditions like cancer doesn't discriminate in times of COVID.”

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He and other medical experts expect the virus will be part of our communities for some time and while following suggestions from medical professions is important, making sure you don’t miss appointments that keep you healthy should also be on your must-do list.

“What we are doing right now is what we are going to be doing for the foreseeable future so there is no reason not to come in and get your care or whatever it is you should feel safe and you should come in," Roman said.

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He reiterated that everyone entering into the hospital has a temperature screening and must wear a mask. Doctors, nurses and staff are also screened each time they enter the building.