RCR: Don't let COVID-19 fears deter cancer screenings

2020 08 14 15 14 3004 Waiting Room Seniors Masks 400

The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) continues to urge people with cancer symptoms to seek help from their general practitioners (GPs) despite COVID-19 fears.

The plea comes on the heels of a survey from Cardiff University and Cancer Research UK that reveals nearly half of people who experienced possible cancer symptoms during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic did not contact their GP.

The researchers surveyed more than 7,500 people about their health experiences between March and August 2020 and found 40% of respondents had at least one potential symptom of cancer. Of those, 45% did not contact their GP because they were nervous about COVID-19 safety and didn't want to further strain the National Health Service (NHS).

Both fears, while understandable, are being addressed by the NHS and no reason to put off cancer treatment, the RCR said. Also, if patients wait, it's possible their cancer will progress to a later stage and be harder to treat.

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