Screenings for breast cancer have resumed after experts warned against them because of COVID-19, but the long-term effects of delays in care are unknown, reports ABC News.

As many hospitals and doctor’s offices limited patient appointments and surgeries during the coronavirus pandemic, a concerning side effect of the shutdown began to emerge. With fewer screening exams, patient visits and surgical procedures, breast cancer care took a frightening hit.

Regular breast cancer screenings save lives, but early in the pandemic, the American Cancer Society recommended that doctors postpone any routine breast cancer screenings or intervention to protect at-risk patients from potential exposures or illness.

But delaying those appointments didn’t just mean delaying regular breast exams. For some, it meant delaying preventative treatments, such as chemotherapy, designed to keep cancer from coming back. And as weeks turned into months, ACS eventually shifted its policy, encouraging women to talk to their doctor before potentially resuming their regular appointments.

Read the full story at ABC News