Importance of lung cancer screenings during the COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — For months, COVID-19 has been the only medical issue on many of our minds. But, having routine lung cancer screenings is even more important now during this pandemic.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, but as Dr. Aref Agheli from Hematology/Oncology Associates says, lung cancer screenings need to be a priority at all times, especially for those who are at high risk.

“The lung cancer screening, the idea is to catch the lung cancer at the earlier stage when it is still curable,” said Agheli.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a delay in diagnosing lung and other cancers because people haven’t been receiving routine medical care.

But the medical professionals at HOA say having a free screening event like the one they had this weekend can save lives.

They may be nervous but we allay their fears and let them know that it is safe for them to come in and be screened. And it’s very important because If we screen them and get things early…they’re going to have a long, happy life and their family is going to have them for a long time.

Allyson Remon — Oncology Thoracic Nurse Navigator, Hematology/Oncology Associates

On Saturday, about 60 patients across 3 locations were screened across the Syracuse area. This was the first time that HOA and CRA Imaging offered the free screenings, which in a normal visit can run people upwards of $300 to $400. That doesn’t include any follow-up costs.

To do a free event was perfect because patients you know can’t always afford to have the test done or the insurance won’t cover it for them. So, this was an opportunity for us to help the community and help the patients.

It’s very rewarding and that’s the goal of what we do every day. We want to help patients and make sure their families have them as long as possible.

Allyson Remon — Oncology Thoracic Nurse Navigator

So, the message is simple: Get screened and save your life.

Moving forward, the Hematology/Oncology Associates and CRA Imaging plan on having screening events like this every year.

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