This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

People with cancer symptoms must not miss out on being checked, urges NHS England

Written by: | Published:

Mammogram tests Experts fear that an extra 6,000 people with newly diagnose with cancer could die this year

NHS England has launched a campaign to encourage anyone with potential symptoms indicating cancer to be checked after a survey revealed that a third of people would worry about seeking help during the COVID outbreak.

The survey by Portland also found that one in ten people would not contact their GP even if they had symptoms of cancer. This is evidenced by a 76% drop in cancer referrals since February as a result of people not contacting their GP. Experts have estimated that an extra 6,000 newly diagnosed people with cancer could die as a result of the disruption around the pandemic.

To counter this worrying trend, NHS England has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the options for those with symptoms and those requiring treatment. The NHS national clinical director for cancer, Professor Peter Johnson, has said that ‘people should seek help as they always would’ if they experience any potential cancer symptoms, such as a new mole or lump, and that there are safe options including online consultations and cancer treatment hubs for those who need them.

Professor Johnson also highlighted the danger of not seeking help, as it is well-established that early detection of cancer aids survival rates and reduces the overall burden on the NHS – something that the survey found people are concerned about in this time of crisis.

The campaign is supported by a number of cancer charities, including Cancer Research UK, whose Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, commented that it was ‘understandable that people might be worried about leaving their home during the pandemic or think the NHS is too busy’ but that it was important for people to contact their doctor if there are signs and symptoms and arrange a virtual appointment if they are reluctant to attend the GP in person.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.