Tenet’s Palm Beach Health Network Hospitals Remind Community to Stay Up-to-Date on Screenings and Treatments During National Cancer Survivors Day on June 7th

Jun 5, 2020

Benefits of cancer screenings during COVID-19 pandemic can greatly outweigh the risks

Palm Beach County, Fla. - Tenet’s Palm Beach Health Network is marking the 33rd National Cancer Survivors Day on June 7th with a strong reminder to the community to make sure missed cancer screening appointments due to the COVID-19 pandemic are rescheduled. Early diagnosis of many types of cancer can greatly increase the chance of successful treatment. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, appointments for screenings of cervix, colon and breast cancers were down between 86% and 94% compared to average volumes in the three years prior, according to Epic Health Research. Tenet’s Palm Beach Health Network hospitals and outpatient centers have protocols in place to safely treat patients with oncologic needs during this pandemic.

“We recognize state orders and social distancing protocols have caused many people to cancel or delay regular screenings that they would have otherwise already had,” said Maggie Gill, chief executive officer of the Palm Beach Health Network. “We want the community to know that we have strict protocols in place to safely care for patients, and completely separate pathways for COVID and non-COVID patients in all our facilities. If you have missed, or are behind schedule for an important screening, like a mammogram or colonoscopy, you should not delay rescheduling these procedures.”

The Tenet Palm Beach Health Network hospitals are comprised of Delray Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center, Palm Beach Children’s Hospital, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, St. Mary’s Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center. The Breast Center at West Boca Diagnostic Imaging, and The Breast Institute at Good Samaritan Medical Center, are both designated as Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. The Breast Institute at Good Samaritan Medical Center is also designated by the American College of Surgeons as a National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a designation reserved for breast centers that achieve high standards across the most effective breast cancer treatments.

“Whether you are at an increased risk for breast cancer, including individuals with mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, or you missed your regular screening mammogram due to COVID-19, now is the time to call your physician or breast center and get on the schedule,” said Dr. Elena Rehl, breast surgeon on staff at Good Samaritan Medical Center. “We have taken the proper steps to ensure patients who come to our hospitals or diagnostic centers for any screenings or procedures will be taken care of in a safe and secure environment.”

Beyond regular screenings, Delray Medical Center is collaborating with the South Florida Proton Therapy Institute to provide proton therapy for both adults and children through the use of targeting cancer cells and sparing healthy tissue. In addition, the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital offers pediatric oncology care, and is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest organization devoted to childhood and adolescent cancer research. The hospital also started the KITE Center (Knowing the Importance of Treatment Effects), which is an outpatient cancer survivorship program for children who have completed cancer therapy for at least two years.