Local doctors urging people to reschedule treatments, appointments missed due to COVID-19

Local doctors urging people to reschedule treatments, appointments missed due to COVID-19

The fear of COVID-19 is keeping some people from going to the doctor.

It’s a serious issue; many people are holding off or delaying treatments because of the coronavirus pandemic. And one local doctor said those appointments need to be rescheduled as soon as possible.

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"The outcome is worse than taking the risk … that you might be exposed to someone with COVID-19," said Dr. Stan Marks, chairman of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Marks said says people scheduled for CT scans for lung cancer, mammograms and colonoscopy tests haven't shown up in the last month.

“We want to make sure that patients understand that they've got to get those rescheduled. They have to get back to get their mammograms or colonoscopy because we don't want to miss an early cancer," he said.

Dr. Anthony Fiorillo, an internal medicine doctor at UPMC, told Channel 11 some patients have called and said they're concerned about coming in a crowded waiting room or even nervous about getting blood drawn.

To combat this, UPMC transitioned mostly to virtual visits for patients and implemented a no visitor policy, a mandate that all employees and patients wear masks in the hospital, and they’ve gotten rid of crowded waiting rooms by making people wait in their cars until it’s their turn to see the doctor.