Don’t wait and worry, says Macmillan GP

A Macmillan GP is urging people across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon, and Wiltshire to see their GP if they are experiencing signs or symptoms that could be cancer.

The call to action comes at the same time as the clinical commissioning group for Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire is urging people not to ignore any worrying symptoms, and to prioritise their health and wellbeing by seeking medical help early.

I’d like to reassure people that your GP will always be here, no matter what happens during this pandemic. If you have any symptoms such as a new lump, a persistent cough or coughing up blood, blood in your stools or urine, or losing a lot of weight all of a sudden. Or anything that is new and concerning you, please don’t hesitate to contact your GP as soon as possible – please don’t wait and worry.
— Dr Wallace

Don’t Wait and Worry, which sums up the ethos of the CCG’s campaign, reinforces the messages that despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the NHS is still very much open for business, and that patients will always be able to get the help the need, either over the phone, by video call or in person.

Of particular concern are breast, lung and bowel cancer as consequences of a late diagnosis can be more serious.

Examples of symptoms to see your GP about are:

  • A new lump
  • A persistent cough or coughing up blood
  • Blood in your stools or urine
  • Sudden weight loss

Recent data confirmed GP referrals for patients with suspected cancer during April, May and June had seen stark drops compared with the first three months of the year.
Salisbury District Hospital saw the biggest drop with referrals down 47 percent, the Great Western Hospital in Swindon witnessed a 31 percent reduction in referrals, and the Royal United Hospital saw its numbers fall by 35 percent.

Some of my patients have been reluctant to admit they have a cough because it’s a symptom of Covid-19. But it can also be a sign of lung cancer so it’s vital that patients are honest about their symptoms to help us help them as quickly as possible.
— Dr Wallace

More information on other signs and symptoms of cancer can be found on the Macmillan website macmillan.org.uk.Details on the Don’t Wait and Worry campaign, including how to access a GP appointment in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire can be found at www.bswccg.nhs.uk.

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