That’s the message from Dr Paul Morris, GP lead for cancer services in Knowsley.
GPs in Knowsley are encouraging residents to not ignore any unexplained changes to their body or concerns which could indicate the presence of cancer. GPs are still available for consultations during the current Covid-19 crisis, which include telephone and online meaning you don’t need to leave your house.
Referrals from the GP to specialist hospital teams are currently low and GPs are concerned that patients are putting off contacting their GP as they normally would because of potential health concerns regarding coronavirus or leaving their house against Government advice.
Dr Morris said: “My referrals for two week waits suspected cancer cases have declined markedly over the last month as patients are not contacting the surgery with symptoms that could indicate a need for further investigations that could diagnose cancer or more usually give them the ‘all clear’.
“I really want to stress that if you or your family and friends are concerned about unusual changes to your body don’t put off contacting your GP. Having spoken to your GP on the telephone they may be able to reassure you or ask you to see them in the surgery for an examination and other tests and referrals if they are required.”
The earlier people are diagnosed, the sooner treatment and support can commence.
GP surgeries remain open in Knowsley with patients asked to telephone their surgery if they wish to make an appointment with their doctor. Surgeries have processes in place to ensure they can continue to treat their patients safely in the community and are also using technology including online and video GP consultations so patients don’t need to visit the surgery in person.
For more information on possible symptoms of cancer and what to do, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/.