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Cancer Doesn’t Wait: Why People Need to Get Back to Cancer Screenings and Follow-Up Appointments

Around the country, doctors and healthcare systems are reporting an alarming drop in non-COVID-19 patient visits.1 Included in this is a plummet in important cancer screenings and follow-up appointments. These checkups, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests, have gone down significantly since the start of COVID-19 because of delays or cancellations.2,3

Even short delays in follow-up care can pose a big risk

Cancer screenings and follow-up appointments play a critical role in early detection and successful long-term care.4 Experts warn that delaying these opportunities for intervention could result in more late-stage diagnoses with worse prognoses.5

As part of our commitment to patients and high-quality care, Pfizer is helping to raise awareness and address this looming public health issue.

Introducing “Get It Done”

The Get It Done initiative looks to engage the public about the importance of speaking with their doctors about keeping up with cancer screenings and follow-up appointments during COVID-19, where it is safe to do so. The CDC has issued guidelines for various healthcare settings, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, and clinics to make visiting safer — from wearing masks to temperature checks, increased sanitation, and social distancing — to the growing use of virtual visits via telehealth. 6

Diego Sacristan, Regional President North America, Oncology for Pfizer says, “In this case, our commitment to patients means we need to share important information to help address the understandable fear about visiting the doctor right now.”

Resources to build confidence

The initiative website, provides tools and resources to help guide people in conversations with their doctor and help prepare them for their appointments, either in-person or via telehealth.

“Our goal is to give people the confidence they need to speak with their doctors about continuing their cancer screenings and follow-up appointments,” says Sacristan. “Get It Done is a call-to-action and our commitment to the cancer community during the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 and beyond.”

To learn more, visit

[1]Ziedan, E. et. al Effects of State COVID-19 Closure Policy on NON-COVID-19 Health Care Utilization. National Bureau of Economic Research. Published July 2020. Accessed November 3, 2020.
[2] Mast C, MD; Munoz del Rio A, PhD. Delayed Cancer Screenings—A Second Look. Epic Health Research Network Web site. Published July 17, 2020. Accessed October 22, 2020.
[3] McLaughlin, K. The Pandemic’s Impact on Cancer Screening and Detection. Cancer Today Magazine Web site. Published July 28, 2020. Accessed October 30, 2020.
[4] National Cancer Institute. Cancer Screening. NCI Web site. Updated April 9, 2018. Accessed November 3, 2020.
[5] Sharpless, N. COVID-19 and cancer. Science. Published June 19, 2020. Accessed November 3, 2020.
[6] Centers for Disease Control. Healthcare Facilities: Managing Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic. CDC Web site. Updated June 28, 2020. Accessed November 4, 2020.

Get It Done is a call-to-action and our commitment to the cancer community during the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 and beyond.