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With alarming drops in cancer screenings around the country, Pfizer initiated “Get It Done” to raise awareness and help address this looming public health issue

Following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and health care systems began reporting an alarming drop in non-COVID-19 patient visits. Included in this was a plummet in important cancer screenings and follow-up appointments. These checkups, such as mammograms, colonoscopies and prostate-specific antigen blood tests, have gone down significantly since the start of COVID-19 because of delays or cancellations. 

285,000   95,000​​​​​​​​​​​​

In the U.S. between March 15 and June 16, 285,000 breast and 95,000 colon exams were missed, representing deficits of 63% and 64%, relative to the number of screenings that would be expected based on the historical average.1

Pfizer recognizes cancer screenings and follow-up appointments play a critical role in early detection. Moreover, experts warned that delaying these intervention opportunities could result in more late-stage diagnoses with worse prognoses.

As part of its steadfast commitment to patients and high-quality care, Pfizer felt compelled to help raise awareness and address this looming public health issue.

In November, Pfizer introduced “Get It Done” in the U.S., an initiative to engage the public about the importance of speaking with their doctors about keeping up with cancer screenings and follow-up appointments during the COVID-19 crisis, where it is safe to do so.

In this case, our commitment to patients means we need to share important information to help address the understandable fear about visiting a doctor right now.” 

Diego Sacristan

Regional President, Pfizer Oncology North America

​​​​​​​Central to the initiative were resources housed on the website,, to help build confidence, guide people in conversations with their doctor and better prepare them for their appointments, either in-person or via telehealth.

This is just the beginning of Pfizer’s long-term commitment. The company will be expanding the program further in 2021 outside of the U.S. to reach a broader population of people without a personal history of cancer who are still at high risk. These groups will include people over the age of 65, those with a family history of cancer, communities facing health inequities and racial and ethnic minorities with disproportionate rates of cancer diagnoses.

The initiative featured two inspiring and authentic survivor voices – Andrea, a 15-year breast cancer survivor and Pfizer colleague, and Chas, a seven-year prostate cancer survivor.


1Mast, Christopher. “Delayed Cancer Screenings—A Second Look.” Epic Research Health Network. 17 July 2020. Last accessed 22 October 2020.

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