NACDD Celebrates Cancer Prevention Month, Launches Campaign to Encourage Regular Screenings During Pandemic

CDC-led Media Tour Garners 85 Million Views

By: Scott Reid

A coalition of cancer prevention organizations including the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) celebrated National Cancer Prevention Month this February by releasing a video public service announcement campaign, “Cancer Doesn’t Wait,” that encourages the public to resume regular preventative cancer screenings despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) predicts almost 10,000 excess deaths in the U.S. from breast and colorectal cancer alone during the next decade because of pandemic-related delays in cancer screening and treatment.

At the beginning of the pandemic, cancer screening rates dropped to nearly zero, according to Dr. Lisa Richardson, MPH, Director of the CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC).

“People were afraid to go in for care, but also health systems were canceling services to preserve protective equipment for providers and hospitals,” Dr. Richardson said in a recent television interview. “What we’re concerned about is that as we move forward in the future, there will be more cancers diagnosed and more people will die from cancer as a consequence of not going in for screening.”

“What we’re concerned about is that as we move forward in the future, there will be more cancers diagnosed and more people will die from cancer as a consequence of not going in for screening.”

Dr. Lisa Richardson, oncologist and Director of CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Tweet

A coalition of cancer prevention organizations including the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) celebrated National Cancer Prevention Month this February by releasing a video public service announcement campaign, “Cancer Doesn’t Wait,” that encourages the public to resume regular preventative cancer screenings despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Cancer Society (ACS), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and CDC, in partnership with NACDD, produced the video to remind viewers that regular cancer screenings can increase early detection and survival from various types of cancers. The spots will be shown on social media and broadcast television. To help further promote these prevention messages, Dr. Richardson, along with Dr. Robert Carlson, CEO of NCCN, and Dr. Laura Makaroff, Senior Vice President at ACS, participated in a national satellite media tour reaching 85 million viewers.

“NACDD is proud to have been involved in this important and life-saving work,” said NACDD’s CEO John W. Robitscher, MPH. “Identifying and treating cancer early through screening improves health outcomes.”

Finally, more than 20 cancer prevention organizations released a sign-on letter that encourages those who have potential symptoms such as lumps, pain that doesn’t go away, abnormal bleeding, sores that don’t heal, abnormal bowel changes, and unexplained weight loss to resume cancer screening and treatment during the pandemic.

Dr. Richardson adds, “You are your best advocate and you are the person who knows your body best. Talk with your provider.”

To learn more about National Cancer Prevention Month, visit cdc.gov/cancer.

To learn more about NACDD’s Cancer programs, which support state and territorial health efforts to prevent disease and promote health, visit chronicdisease.org/page/cancerprograms/.

“NACDD is proud to have been involved in this important and life-saving work. Identifying and treating cancer early through screening improves health outcomes.”

John W. Robitscher, MPH, CEO, NACDD Tweet