Covid-19 expected to continue to cause indirect deaths

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Covid-19 has claimed the lives of more than half-a-million people in the United States. And even after the threat of it goes away – it will continue to lead to even more deaths.

The National Cancer Institute expects the country to lose as many as 10,000 people from colon and breast cancer alone over the next decade. The reason, so many people put off diagnostic procedures to detect different types of cancer.

Dr. Samir Dalia, Mercy Oncologist, said, “During this time of Covid, we’ve had a lot of people who haven’t had screenings for cancers because they’ve been afraid to come to the hospital or come to the clinics to get their mammograms or their colonoscopies or their CT Scans for lung cancer screening.”

One of those people who went ahead and had their screenings done anyway was a retired Mercy Physician Dr. Mitch Stinnett. And he’s glad he did.

Mitch Stinnett, Retired Mercy Doctor, said, “At my age and with my history, it needs to be followed periodically, and I had no fear because of Covid, I knew that they were taking extra precautions and that it would be safe to do so.”

His screening turned up no problems and he says it was a relief to know he’s cancer free. But Dalia says waiting too long to have one performed may turn out to be a deadly mistake.

“Catch the cancer earlier, there’s always a higher chance that we’re gonna be able to cure the cancer, a lot of the times we catch cancers later, either it becomes more difficult to cure, meaning you might need more chemotherapy, surgery or radiation therapies, or we may not have the chance to cure you,” said Dalia.

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