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Cancer experts encourage patients with worrying symptoms to get checked and to continue to attend their routine appointments

Cancer experts are encouraging patients in Norfolk and Waveney with worrying symptoms to get checked and to continue to attend routine appointments and investigations.

Local residents are being reminded that the NHS is still here for them when they need it, and to seek advice from their GP if they have any possible signs or symptoms of cancer.

Sarah Witting, Cancer Lead Nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn said: “I would urge anyone who is concerned about symptoms which are not normal for them to seek advice from their GP. Your GP may refer you to a specialist team of doctors and nurses at the hospital. We understand that due to the pandemic you may be worried about attending the hospital for appointments and diagnostic tests, but we would encourage you to attend.

“We have put things in place to keep you safe. We follow government and infection prevention and control advice, and wear appropriate PPE. Some appointments may be held via the telephone and some will be in person, for some investigations you may be required to have a Covid swab and be asked to self-isolate beforehand.”

Maggie Tween, Norfolk and Waveney Cancer Programme Manager said: “NHS staff have pulled out all the stops to keep cancer services going throughout the pandemic, with almost one million people nationally having been referred for checks or starting treatment since the virus took hold.

“I welcome calls for patients to seek help for worrying symptoms early and not to put it off. We understand your concerns about coming forward due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and we have many safety measures in place.”

The main symptoms to look out and act upon for are:

  • Lump in breast
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Blood in your pee or poo
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Moles that appear to change
  • Cough that you’ve had for three weeks or more

Dr Linda Hunter, Cancer lead for the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership (STP), added: “Whether you or a loved one has a routine appointment, or a worrying symptom, our message is clear – you are not a burden, we are here to safely care for you so please don’t delay – Help Us Help You and come forward as you usually would.

“Cancer is easier to treat when it’s caught at an earlier stage and so coming forward for a check could save your life.”

Better access to online and telephone consultations means that you can have a chat with your GP first before they decide if tests are needed or a face to face appointment. 

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