Beyond COVID-19: Routine screenings are still essential

For months now, COVID-19 has dominated headlines—turning every other aspect of health into background noise. But while this pandemic may have paralyzed the country, the fact is, you can’t afford to put your health on hold. The truth is, we must think beyond this virus.

We all still need our routine appointments: dermatology exams, colonoscopies, mammograms, ultrasounds, EKGs, ECHOs… the list goes on.

Luckily, my patients are diligent, and have become even more proactive about their overall health throughout this pandemic. But many people haven’t—for a number of reasons (cancelled appointments, stay-at-home orders, fear of hospitals and medical centers).

And if the latest news is any indication, the consequences could be dire…

Months of missed diagnoses

Allow me to present yet another shocking statistic: By early June, more than 80,000 diagnoses of five common cancers may go undiagnosed in the U.S. because of recent disruptions in routine medical care.

That’s the conclusion of a new report from the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science. Between February and early April, it showed drops as steep as 90 percent in both screening and monitoring of breast, prostate, colorectal, cervical, and lung cancer.

In fact, after analyzing recent medical claims data, this study estimates a staggering total of 22 million delays or cancellations in testing between March and June.

As a result, as many as 36,000 women may have missed out on a breast cancer diagnosis over the last three months. And as for the other four cancers? We’re looking at as many as 22,600 missed prostate cancer diagnoses, 18,800 missed colorectal cancer diagnoses, 2,500 missed cervical cancer diagnoses, and 450 missed lung cancer diagnoses.

Needless to say, that’s an awful lot of cancers to miss. And it doesn’t even include all of the cancelled “elective procedures,” such as removal of cancerous masses. (I don’t know about you, but having cancer removed from my body—if that was the treatment plan that I chose—certainly does NOT seem “elective.”)

Essential services

If all of this doesn’t sound bad enough, consider what it’s going to be like for clinics trying to catch up with this backlog, while staying on schedule with all the tests and screenings that still need to be done. The grim truth is, things are likely to get worse before they get better.

So here’s my firm recommendation: Get out there and have your routine tests and screens done. Places are open for preventative care like this. Yes, things will be more cumbersome, and there will likely be a longer waiting time.

But the consequences of putting it off could prove deadly.

As far as I’m concerned, services like this don’t get any more essential.

And if your personal doctor’s office is closed, or running on a very limited schedule, it’s more important than ever to take your health into your own hands. I urge you to search the archives on my website, take advantage of all of my health protocols (like my Essential Cancer Protocol, which outlines simple, science-backed strategies to fortify your cellular defenses—and stop cancer in its tracks), and check out the The Dr. Fred Show channel on YouTube.

All of these avenues are packed with information that can help your health stay on track—even during quarantine.


“Three Months of COVID-19 May Mean 80,000 Missed Cancer Diagnoses.” Medscape Medical News, 05/06/2020. (