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"If people are worried about cancer symptoms the worst thing to do is nothing" say Royal Surrey

3 minute read
"If people are worried about cancer symptoms the worst thing to do is nothing" say Royal Surrey

Published at 6:00am 3rd May 2020.

We are being warned not to ignore potential cancer symptoms while in lockdown. 

There are concerns people are avoiding going to their GP or to hospital because they are worried about catching coronavirus. 

Dr Marianne Illsley. the Medical Director at Guildford's Royal Surrey they have seen a concerning drop in the number of referrals during the pandemic.


The hospital wants to remind the local community that it is open for business for referrals as well as emergency care. 

Dr Illsley told Eagle Radio it is particularly important to seek medical help if you have symptoms that could indicate cancer: 

"All the predictions are that COVID is likely to be with us for some considerable amount of time.

"So it's really not a good option to be waiting until covid is gone before presenting to the doctor.

"If people do that then they may increase their risk diagnosis and treatment being delayed.

"For anybody who has health concerns who might be concerned about going to see their doctor or going to hospital because of fears of picking up the COVID virus which is really understandable.

"We're taking very careful precautions around infection control in relation to covid so we're taking care to keep certain areas free of patients we think might have COVID.

"Patients who are admitted are swabbed for COVID even if they don't have typical symptoms. 

"So we are safely able to provide the full portfolio of cancer treatments and diagnosis and it's really important that people don't delay coming forward."

Doctors note

Symptoms you should not ignore include: 

  • A new and persistent cough 
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Lump in your breast or anywhere else in your body
  • Moles that have changed in size, shape or colour 
  • Unexplained weight loss 

Dr Illsley explained that ignoring concerning symptoms can be bad for mental health as well as your physical:

"If people are worried about symptoms the worst thing to do is nothing.

"The worry won't go away.

"Going to the doctor, you can either be reassure or if there is a problem then at least you're getting the right attention.

"It's really important that everyone looks after their physical and their mental health and that we look after each other in our communities."