People with suspected symptoms of cancer are being urged not to put off contacting their GP during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Regional charity Yorkshire Cancer Research has enlisted the support of Dr Amir Khan, Bradford GP and star of Channel 5’s GPs: Behind Closed Doors, to help raise awareness of the importance of continuing to seek medical advice during the coronavirus crisis.
Dr Khan has recorded a video message for the charity to provide helpful information and alleviate any fears people may be experiencing about contacting their GP.
GP surgeries are taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including minimising the number of face-to-face appointments. However, phone or video consultations are still being arranged and if necessary, patients are being asked to attend appointments in person.
Dr Khan, GP at The Ridge Medical Practice, said: “Our GP surgery has 25,000 registered patients. Before the coronavirus pandemic we were referring on average 30-35 patients urgently to the hospital a week with suspected cancer symptoms. Since the pandemic, this number has fallen to 3-4 a week. That is a really worrying drop.
“I am concerned that there are people sitting at home who are not contacting their GP either due to fear of getting the virus if they leave their homes, or because they feel they may burden the service in a time of pandemic. What that means in the long term is potential delays in diagnosis of cancers and people waiting until treatment options are not as effective. Please come see us if you are worried, we are still here and still able to help.”
Yorkshire Cancer Research is focused on improving the early diagnosis of cancer in Yorkshire, where 4 in 10 cancers are diagnosed at a late stage.
Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research said: “It’s vitally important that people contact their GP if they’re worried they might have cancer. Early diagnosis is key to improving the likelihood of survival. The sooner cancer is found, the more likely it is to be treated successfully. Even during these unprecedented times, it is always best to speak to your GP, who can then decide the best course of action.”
Contact: Nikki Brady, PR Manager, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Yorkshire Cancer Research
- Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
- Current statistics show that 594 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week.
- Our mission is for 2,000 more people to survive cancer every year in Yorkshire.
- There are lots of cancer problems across the region that need to be tackled on a local level. We work in partnership with researchers, clinicians, the NHS, public health bodies and other charities to fund innovative work in four key areas: prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and clinical trials.
- For more information, please visit www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.