At Chicago’s Mount Sinai Hospital, Teresa Ruvalcaba was suffering on a cold January night. For months, she had tried to avoid thinking about the inflammation blooming in her chest, but the pain could no longer be ignored. So finally she had asked her 24-year-old son Sergio to drive her to the hospital.
Laying in the emergency room, the 48-year-old factory worker was a frightful sight for doctors.
“[Teresa’s] right breast [had] swollen to nearly twice the size of her left, the skin so thick and dimpled that the doctor examining her would note that it resembled an orange peel,” writes journalist Duaa Eldeib.
Delayed diagnoses and missed screenings due to the coronavirus pandemic will likely result in increased cancer deaths, medical experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“We have not yet seen the real impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnosis and deaths,” warned Dr. Julie Gralow, executive vice president and chief medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “Screening for cancer (mainly breast, cervical, and colon) clearly dropped dramatically early in the pandemic, which will likely contribute to a later stage at diagnosis due to the delay/omission of screening that will be seen in the future.”
Lawmakers, health officials, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called on health care providers to cancel non-essential or routine appointments, surgeries, and procedures to preserve personal protective equipment and prevent the risk of spreading the coronavirus.