Health leaders in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are reminding residents that GP practices remain open and they should not delay in seeking medical help if they notice something unusual such as a lump, unexplained weight loss or a pain that does not go away.
More than four in ten people would leave it longer to get health advice than they normally would have before the coronavirus outbreak, however delaying can have serious consequences for some cancers.
The NHS in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin has worked hard to ensure patients can get the help they need safely during the pandemic. People shouldn’t delay in speaking to their GP surgery, they are not burdening their local doctor or the NHS by asking for advice on symptoms, it’s probably nothing serious but finding cancer early makes it more treatable.
During the first period of national restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic to the end of August, more than 870,000 people were urgently referred and over 90% of them were subsequently seen by a specialist within two weeks, showing that the NHS is there for people when they need it.
Cancer treatment levels were maintained at 85% of 2019 levels during the height of the pandemic – evidence that the NHS is there for people when they need it.
Patients should note that by seeking medical help for cancer symptoms, they are not burdening the NHS and our cancer services are COVID-secure and safe. If they spot something they think might be a sign of cancer, they should contact their GP. As the earlier cancer is spotted, the easier it is to treat so coming forward for a check could save their life.
NHS services have put a range of measures in place so that people can be treated safely throughout the pandemic including COVID protected cancer surgery hubs, a COVID friendly drugs fund which means fewer trips to hospital and chemotherapy being delivered in more convenient locations.
Remember – you have better chances of successfully treating cancer if your symptoms are diagnosed early on. Please Help Us, Help You – speak to your GP and it could save your life.
Visit www.nhs.uk/cancersymptoms for more information