HEALTH bosses across Worcestershire are urging people to contact their GP if they have symptoms they are concerned about and not to delay.
They are urging people not to hesitate to get checked as new research revealed that nearly half of the public have concerns about seeking help during the coronavirus pandemic.
One in 10 people would not contact their GP even if they had a lump or a new mole which did not go away after a week, the survey found.
Another third of people would worry about seeking help, according to polling carried out by Portland.
Getting coronavirus or giving it to their family were among the top reasons that people would not come forward when they have cancer symptoms along with fears that they could be a burden to the health service.
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.
“NHS staff have made huge efforts to deal with coronavirus but they are also working hard to ensure that patients can safely access essential services such as cancer checks and urgent surgery.
“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.”
A major campaign was launched last week to encourage people to contact their GP or 111 if they have urgent care needs and to attend hospital if they are told they should.
Cancers are detected earlier and lives are saved if more people are referred for investigation for checks.
Jo Clutterbuck, cancer services manager at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “We wholeheartedly welcome this NHS campaign encouraging people to contact their GP if they are experiencing the signs of cancer.
“We know that people are worried about the risk of infection from coronavirus and the pressure the NHS is already under.
“We urge you not to put it off, and don’t think you’re not a priority during coronavirus. Safeguard your own health and contact your GP if you have symptoms that you are concerned about.
“The Trust is continuing to diagnose and treat patients referred in with suspected cancers and we have measures in place to minimise the risk to patients relating to coronavirus.”