Cleveland Clinic targets demographic with greater cancer disparities because of COVID-19

Coronavirus

CLEVELAND (WJW)– It is a shocking truth.

African-Americans have higher rates of hypertension, diabetes and obesity, which are all risk factors resulting in worse outcomes from COVID-19. Factor in cancer disparities and the statistics even more startling.

“Our research shows that historically Caucasian women are diagnosed more often than women of color, and that’s due in part to screenings and early detection,” said Candace Wallace, Cleveland Clinic program manager at the Taussig Cancer Institute and part of the clinic’s cancer community outreach team.

Wallace said the importance of cancer screenings, even during coronavirus, should not be ignored.

“We do understand that there was a period of time when the state was on lockdown and non-essential health care services were paused across the nation and now that the Cleveland Clinic has resumed non-essential health care services, it is a safe place to receive your health care,” she said.

The outreach team is not hosting any community events because of coronavirus. They said it has been a challenge getting the word out to their target demographic that mammograms, prostate, colon and lung screenings for cancer are continuing. In addition, screenings are now even easier for patients who have been fearful or hesitant to schedule appointments because of the heightened risk.

For starters, patients can select the option for curbside check-in.

“…meaning that a team member, at the arrival for your mammography screening, will check you in from your vehicle, we will ask you select COVID-19 questions, take your temperature, provide you with a mask,” Wallace said.

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