Dr Ian Tait - Don’t delay if you have symptoms which could be cancer
Firstly, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to the people of Herefordshire for doing their bit to keep our county as safe as possible during the ongoing pandemic. Despite having some of the lowest rates in the country, approaching winter and with cases still rising, it’s important that we not only adhere to the new lockdown rules implemented from 5 November, but that everyone continues to follow the guidance on maintaining good hand hygiene, wearing face coverings and social distancing.
One of the issues that the pandemic has highlighted is that many people have been reluctant to seek help when they need it or come forward with symptoms they are worried about, particularly those that may relate to cancer.
The NHS is still here for you and GP practices have been operating throughout the pandemic, albeit quite differently to keep our patients and staff safe, so please don’t delay if you notice anything that isn’t normal for you.
In particular, I want to focus on prostate cancer, and issue a plea for men not to put off seeking help if you have any symptoms for example an increased need to pee or blood in your urine. Any changes you notice should not be ignored, but they do not necessarily mean that you have prostate cancer. If it is, however, the earlier you are diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome will be for you.
Finally, as we enter the flu season and as a GP, I would urge everyone eligible for a flu vaccine this year to ensure they take up the offer. Flu can be serious for those who have underlying conditions or are in any of the at risk groups, and with coronavirus still circulating it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and your family or those you care for this year.