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OPINION

What happened to our 2020 New Year’s resolutions?

Hannah Farley

As the New Year inches closer, it is time to reflect on the resolutions we made at the beginning of 2020. Was your resolution to be healthier? Or, perhaps, this was the year you decided to travel to a new country, catch up with old friends or go for that promotion at work. Each year, people find reasons why promises made to themselves fall through, and the pandemic of 2020 has certainly been reason enough to toss many resolutions out the window.

One resolution I made to myself in 2020 was to get screened for cervical cancer. I have a family history of cervical cancer and I was well overdue for my screening, partly because of COVID-19 and mostly because I simply did not want to do it. Getting screened for cancer quickly moved to the top of my priority list after learning that individuals with cancer are at an increased risk of getting COVID-19. So, at my annual wellness exam with my family doctor, I made the appointment to get screened.

The pandemic has brought a change of values and priorities. We have learned how much we value seeing our family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. We found out that being in good health is important and can help us stick around longer to be with our loved ones.

After getting screened for cervical cancer, I was relieved to find out that everything was OK and I didn’t need to get screened for another three years. Despite my appointment being in the midst of the pandemic, I also felt very safe within the office and during my screening. It is great being able to say that I fulfilled a 2020 New Year’s resolution.

As another New Year approaches, it is time for all of us to think about what our 2021 resolutions will be. If you are due, or overdue for a cancer screening, I urge you to make getting screened for cancer your resolution on Jan. 1. If you don’t have insurance or recently lost insurance and are concerned about paying for a cancer screening, the Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region (CSP-FLR) can help. CSP-FLR pays for breast and cervical cancer screenings for uninsured, eligible women ages 40 and older and colon cancer screenings for uninsured, eligible women and men ages 50 and older. They will also pay for any follow-up services and diagnostic tests, if needed. This project is supported with funds from the State of New York and is available to all NYS residents. You can reach them by calling 1-877-703-8070 or emailing CSP@URMC.Rochester.edu.

In good health,

Hannah Farley,

Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region