Throughout the past year, we have had to sacrifice many things due to the COVD-19 pandemic. Quincy Medical Group (QMG) Oncologist Dr. Karthik Koduru said one thing you shouldn’t put off is your health.

Nationwide, health facilities have seen an overall decrease in patients coming in for their primary care visits and screenings, and that’s something Dr. Koduru shared is a trend he is seeing locally as well.

“We have seen a reduction in new diagnoses and validated it correlates to a reduction in performed screenings since spring of 2020,” he said.

Screenings for colorectal cancer and other cancers are important for early detection of the disease. Routine tests and screenings such as mammograms, colonoscopies, pap tests, as well as cholesterol and blood pressure checks are effective means of spotting diseases before they get worse.

“Putting off screenings increases the likelihood of a more advanced diagnosis. For several years, we were fortunate to be seeing a decrease in the severity of disease by catching cancers earlier,” Dr. Koduru explained. “While statistics look good for fewer cases reported in 2020, this is actually due to fewer screenings, and next year the numbers will be totally different.”

Dr. Koduru said patients who had scheduled screenings at the onset of COVID may have delayed their appointments to this year. If you are hesitant about coming in for your routine appointments and screenings, he said you should take comfort in the precautions in place here at QMG.

“As long as the patient is masked and compliant, health facilities are one of the safest for patients,” he shared. “Our team at QMG has strict COVID criteria in place to ensure our facility is monitored and cleaned, as well as isolation of potential COVID infected patients.”

If you need to establish care or schedule an appointment with our Primary Care or Women’s Health team, visit for more information or call (217) 222-6550.