Cancer referrals drop by half due to coronavirus fears
Patients have been told ‘don’t sit it out, get checked out’, after cancer referrals dropped by more than half since the Covid-19 lockdown began.
The NHS in Suffolk has launched a campaign, encouraging people to seek medical help at any sign of symptoms.
It is thought many are staying away from hospitals and GPs due to coronavirus fears.
Dr Andrew Yager estimated that cancer referrals had dropped to just one third of usual numbers.
The number has now increased to around 50 per cent, but NHS chiefs are worried fewer referrals could lead to a backlog in cases, diagnoses being made at a later stage and pressure on diagnostic capacity.
Dr Yager said: “The NHS is concerned that instead of seeing a cancer patient at the first or second stage, it might not be until a later stage, which can be devastating.