DON’T delay – that’s the message from health professionals for people with health concerns or symptoms that may require further investigation.
Local doctors say GP surgeries and hospitals have gone to great lengths to put infection prevention measures in place to ensure patients can safely access these services.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust continues to diagnose and treat patients referred by a GP with symptoms, such as those that may indicate a potential cancer.
Macmillan Cancer GP facilitator Dr Edwina Gallagher said: “If you notice a change which isn’t normal for you or have a symptom that doesn’t settle it may be important to arrange further investigations to exclude serious problems such as cancer.
“Some of the problems that you should contact your GP about include the sudden appearance of a lump, blood in your urine or a change to your usual bowel habits.
“The symptom might not be due to serious illness and your GP may be able to easily reassure you.
“If it is cancer or another serious problem, the earlier it’s picked up the higher the chance of successful treatment.
“When you arrange an appointment with your GP they will initially telephone you to discuss the problem, and then bring you in to be examined or have blood tests if needed. If necessary they will refer you to the hospital.”
Dr Carl Ellson, GP and cancer lead for NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“There is no reason to delay getting cancer checks so we can ensure people get treatment quickly and safely.
“Waiting to get help could have serious consequences for patients and put a greater burden on the NHS.
“From online consultations to the roll-out of cancer treatment hubs we are doing all we can to make sure patients receive the life-saving care that they need and people should seek help as they always would.”
Patients are reminded that, while practices remain open, first contact should always be made by telephone or online.
For more information on cancer signs and symptoms visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/symptoms/