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Reaction to Covid Pandemic Appears to be Driving Up Cancer Death Rate

(Radio Iowa) The reaction to the covid pandemic appears to be part of what’s driving up the cancer death rate. Many people have put off regular screenings in the past two years under advice to ‘socially distance,; and the results are reflected in this year’s “Cancer in Iowa” report. Dr. Mary Charlton is an epidemiology professor at the University of Iowa and director of the Iowa Cancer Registry.

The annual report is produced to help doctors, researchers and others understand and reduce the burden of cancer in Iowa by tracking progress and determining areas of need. One of the biggest areas remains smoking.

There is optimism in the report, as many tens of thousands of Iowans have beaten the disease.

When COVID was declared a pandemic in March of 2020, many cancer screenings were put on hold.


Screenings are again being offered now, with safety precautions in place, and anyone who missed or delayed getting screened is encouraged to get back on track. Studies find about 41-percent of American adults delayed or avoided medical care — including cancer screening tests — between March and June of 2020.

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