Time to Get Back on Track With Preventative Care Skipped Due to COVID-19

North Texas doctors are seeing patients with more severe diseases than before the pandemic

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For more than two years, patients pushed off routine health care visits as offices closed to nonemergency cases and the threat of coronavirus loomed. It could take years before the health care system sees the full effects - both physical and financial - of delayed care, North Texas doctors say.

It's all part of an alarming trend of medical problems caught in later, more severe stages because of interrupted preventive care.

“We’re now starting to see patients coming through, with a higher proportion of patients who have a more advanced stage of cancer diagnosis,” said Dr. John Sweetenham, associate director for clinical affairs at UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Routine procedures done to catch cancer and other serious illnesses early in their progression were not front of mind for patients navigating the pandemic.

The Dallas Morning News has a list of which tests you need to catch up on first.

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