Oncologists sound the alarm on drop in cancer screenings

ProCure Proton Therapy Center, the longest-established proton therapy center in the tri-state area, is helping local residents catch up on cancer screenings.

While COVID-19 vaccinations mark an important step toward ending the epidemic, studies have shown that many Americans are falling behind on another important preventive health measure.

Physicians at ProCure Proton Therapy Center joined oncologists from around the country in encouraging Americans to catch up on cancer screenings. Experts recommend regular screenings for breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer.

A study published last fall in the JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics found an 85% drop in breast cancer screenings and a 74% decline in prostate cancer screenings. Screening rates for the top four cancer types remain below pre-pandemic rates, according to the Community Oncology Alliance and CancerCare, which launched a national awareness campaign in April to bring more attention to the issue.

Doctors cited delayed screenings as a reason they are starting to see more patients with advanced forms of cancer.

“While it is understandable that people limited interpersonal contacts during the height of the pandemic, it is vital that they catch up on their cancer screenings,” said Brian H. Chon, M.D., medical director at ProCure Proton Therapy Center. “These screenings could help detect cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage.”

Detecting cancer in the early stages, before it spreads, could make patients eligible for a non-surgical treatment option called proton therapy.

ProCure is New Jersey’s most experienced proton therapy center. It offers pencil beam scanning – the most advanced form of radiation with the most precise technology.

“Proton therapy targets tumors with precision and reduces radiation exposure to healthy tissues,” Dr. Chon said. “That means fewer side effects and a lower risk of life-threatening medical issues.”


Learn more about proton therapy at ProCure: ProCure.com/what-makes-procure-different


Learn more about “The Time to Screen” campaign: https://timetoscreen.org


ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, opened in March 2012 as the tri-state region’s first proton therapy facility, treating a range of cancers including disease of the prostate, breast, lung, brain, head and neck, and gastrointestinal system, as well as sarcomas and many pediatric cases. Using the most advanced radiation treatment available ProCure has treated more than 5,000 patients and enables many cancer patients to choose a non-surgical treatment personalized to their medical needs and lifestyles, often with fewer side effects and less downtime—giving them more freedom to enjoy what matters most in their lives. For more information, visit ProCure.com.

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