Cancer has been a priority throughout the pandemic and the NHS will continue to prioritise cancer services as we manage the Omicron wave.
Cancer assessment and treatments will continue, and people are being urged to keep their appointments. Measures are in place to help protect patients and staff and it is important to not delay cancer treatment.
Urgent cancer surgery is being prioritised, with COVID-protected areas helping to ensure patients continue to receive safe and timely operations for cancer.
Dr Sarah Taylor, a GP in South Manchester and the Primary Care Lead for Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance, said:
“We know that some people may be concerned about attending cancer appointments with their doctor or at the hospital during this latest wave of COVID-19 infections, but it is really important that people do attend these appointments. Early treatment improves the quality of life after a cancer diagnosis has been made and can save lives.”
“In the coming weeks, the NHS has been asked to prioritise providing COVID-19 boosters for people aged 18 and over which means some non-urgent appointments may need to be re-arranged to ensure there are staff available to support the booster programme, as well as provide treatment for urgent and emergency cases. If you have potential cancer symptoms your GP will want to see you.”
The public should take particular notice of persistent and unexplained symptoms such as:
- Lumps, bumps or swelling
- Blood in your pee, blood in your poo or coughing up blood
- Unexplained pain
- A change in bowel habit
- Extreme tiredness
- Weight loss
- A cough lasting over 3 weeks, especially if you have ever smoked
If you are concerned about potential cancer symptoms, you should contact your GP for advice. More information about cancer signs and symptoms can be found on the NHS website at nhs.uk/cancer.
If you are due to attend an appointment and have symptoms of COVID-19 symptoms, please let your clinical team know and arrange for a PCR test. You should not attend a healthcare setting if you are awaiting a PCR test result, unless instructed by your clinical team.