CDC Campaign Fights Declining Cancer Screening Rates

March 05, 2021 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, Former ONS Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy

Nearly 1.9 million people in the United States will be diagnosed ( with cancer in 2021. However, overall cancer screenings dropped roughly 80% in 2020 ( because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and statewide stay-at-home orders. To combat the decline, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) new outreach campaign reminds patients ( and providers of the importance of cancer screening (

CDC created patient-centered resources, including an animated video ( on cervical cancer screening, screening recommendations ( for each type of cancer, and a virtual simulation ( to help patients navigate prostate cancer, from screening to treatment. The agency is also promoting practices that keep patients and providers safe ( so everyone can feel secure giving and receiving in-person care.

“Cancer doesn’t wait; neither should you,” Lisa Richardson, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said ( “We know COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind right now.”

“But that doesn’t mean you should neglect your routine health care,” Robert Carlson, MD, chief executive officer at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, added (

Education is an essential aspect of cancer screening ( Through resources like CDC and ONS, oncology nurses can help patients develop individual screening plans ( and navigate every inch of the cancer care continuum.

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