A letter from Dr. Catalona
Dear Quest readers,
Queen Elizabeth II referred to 1992 as an “annus horriblis,” Latin for a horrible year. To paraphrase the Queen, 2020 has not been a year on which the world shall look back with “undiluted pleasure.” Rather, 2020 will go down in history as the globally turbulent year of the COVID-19 pandemic that has wrought unimaginable suffering and death and has deeply divided the world and our Nation.
Amid the tragic losses and the economic dislocations directly due to the virus, somewhat obscured, but not completely lost sight of, are the secondary consequences of the “shelter at home” orders and widespread public fear of visiting doctors and hospitals for potentially life-saving care, including early cancer detection tests, even in people without symptoms. These tests, including lung cancer screening, skin cancer screening, Pap smears, HPV testing, mammograms, colonoscopies, and, yes, prostate exams and PSA tests remain very important. Regularly scheduled cancer screenings are crucial, because the later cancer is detected, the more serious and involved the treatment becomes. I believe that effective vaccines for COVID-19 will be widely available soon. Therefore, if it is time for your screening, please consult with your doctor about how best to do it safely.
It is also my hope that during this year you have had some joy and pleasure and have things to be thankful for during the holiday season soon to be upon us. It is a time to reflect upon our many blessings. If you can help with our research costs it would be greatly appreciated.
I send my every good wish for your health and general wellbeing during the holiday season, throughout the New Year, and beyond.
William J. Catalona, M.D.
Medical Director of the URF