Mankato Clinic physicians encourage people to schedule annual check-ups and cancer screenings. 

Monday, April 19, 2021

MANKATO (April 19, 2021) — The COVID-19 pandemic caused a drop in preventive and elective healthcare visits in 2020. Skipping and delaying routine check-ups has resulted in dips in childhood immunizations and cancer screenings which directly impact people’s health.  

Mankato Clinic physicians are urging people to schedule annual preventive visits and well-child check-ups.  Routine check-ups help Americans stay up-do-date with immunizations and cancer screenings such as mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies and skin cancer checks. A report from the National Cancer Institute suggests 10,000 additional deaths from breast and colorectal cancer due to low screening rates during the pandemic.

“We know that annual check-ups and preventive care visits with a trusted medical provider help people stay healthy. These visits include mental health screenings, immunizations, cancer screenings and lab work such as cholesterol and blood sugar tests that prevent disease and catch health issues early,” said Dr. Andrew Lundquist, chief medical officer, Mankato Clinic. “When we see a drop in cancer screenings, we become very concerned that we will see a rise in late-stage cancer diagnoses which means more invasive treatments and lower survival rates.”

The Health Care Cost Institute looked at a large sample of health claims from 2019 and 2020. Screening colonoscopies were down 27%. Screening mammograms were down about 19% and screening Pap smears were down 13%. In 2020, childhood immunizations have declined about 18 percent as compared to 2019.

“In addition to preventive visits, we also know people have gone without care for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Many people have not sought care for new or worsening symptoms in the last year,” Dr. Lundquist explained. “Ignoring symptoms and easing up on managing conditions can put people at a greater risk for stroke, cardiac events and other complications. That’s why I encourage people to get their health back on track.”


About Mankato Clinic

Mankato Clinic was founded in Mankato in 1916 by five area physicians who believed a comprehensive, multi-specialty group practice offered the best means of providing quality health care to the residents of southern Minnesota. The Mankato Clinic has grown to over 150 physicians and practitioners and employs over 800 people and is one of the only physician owned and led medical facilities in the state of Minnesota.

Dr. Andrew Lundquist, Chief Medical Officer, Mankato Clinic