Public urged not to delay cancer checks
People across the country today are being urged by singer Linda Nolan and presenter Bill Turnbull not to delay seeking help if you think you have symptoms that may require further investigation and local health professionals in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are echoing this message asking people to contact their GP if they have health concerns.
Patients can be assured that GP and hospital services in the two counties have gone to great lengths to put infection prevention measures in place to ensure patients can safely access these services and the public are encouraged to seek help for cancer symptoms.
Wye Valley NHS Trust in Herefordshire and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust continue to diagnose and treat patients referred by a GP with symptoms, such as those that may indicate a potential cancer.
Dr Edwina Gallagher, Macmillan Cancer GP Facilitator for Herefordshire, 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.
“We are all experiencing significant change in how we carry out our day to day activities, so we would ask patients to just to bear in mind that some things may take longer than before, but this should not be a barrier to accessing healthcare services.”
Patients are reminded that, while practices remain open, first contact should always be made by telephone or online, at which point the most appropriate appointment will be offered.
More information on cancer signs and symptoms can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/symptoms/