Posted: Wed 17th Jun 2020

Cancer campaign urging people not to put off seeking help launched by Wales Government

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 17th, 2020

A new campaign has been launched by the Welsh Government urging people with possible cancer symptoms not to put off seeking help.

The campaign highlights the importance of continuing to access essential cancer services during the Covid pandemic.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:

“We know that many people have been avoiding their GP surgery or hospital due to COVID but tests and treatment for cancer are available and I want those who need to seek care and treatment to continue to do so.

Services will look different, with some appointments being done remotely and if you do need to be seen in person then clinicians may be wearing protective equipment. This is to reduce everyone’s risk of catching COVID when being investigated for cancer or receiving treatment for cancer.

We have worked hard with the NHS to ensure cancer services can continue but the pandemic has had an impact on services. That doesn’t mean the NHS isn’t there for you but it does mean care and treatment has had to adapt to being delivered in a world with COVID. We will continue to do all that we can to ensure cancer services are there for you when you need them.”

Professor Tom Crosby, Consultant Oncologist and National Cancer Clinical Director for Wales said:

“If you are unwell with symptoms that you are worried about or that are persistent then please seek support from your primary and community health care teams. They are open for business and will be able to safely assess you, and where necessary reassure you or refer you on for further tests or treatments.
 
If you are referred for further tests and/or treatment, health boards and hospitals have undertaken a huge amount of work to ensure services are as safe as possible. Appointments for tests and treatment will have been made because it is felt to be really important to investigate things further, to reassure you as soon as possible if you do not have serious problem, or to treat it as soon as possible if you do. If you are worried about whether it is safe to attend your appointment please ask your GP or the hospital what measures are being taken to keep you safe and well during this time.”

Public Health Wales have announced today that screening programmes in Wales will resume sending invitations and reminders to people eligible for screening for cervical, breast and bowel cancer, starting with Cervical Screening Wales from the end of June. 

Screening is for people at higher risk of a particular cancer and is different from looking into symptoms of cancer.

If you have symptoms of potential cancer, such as prolonged or significant changes in your physical health, then please contact your GP for advice. They will want to hear from you.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing treatment, then it’s important you keep in touch with your clinician and key worker to agree the best way forward for your care.

If a diagnosis of cancer has already affected your physical and mental health or the way you are able to eat and drink, it’s important to seek further advice and support. Being physically, nutritionally and mentally ‘fit’ for any potential treatment helps reduce the risk of side-effects and also helps you recover quicker.

It’s also a good time to give up smoking and help is available from the NHS Wales at www.helpmequit.wales/

Hospitals have undertaken a huge amount of work to ensure services are as safe as possible. Appointments continue to be made as it is important to investigate things further and where needed provide treatment.

People worried about safety should not miss appointments but discuss with their GP or hospital about what measures are being taken to keep patients safe and well.

Support and advice is also available from Macmillan Cancer Support. Their support line is open seven days a week between 8am-8pm on 0808 808 00 00.

Comprehensive information and support, including Macmillan’s latest guidance and advice on the impact of coronavirus on cancer care, is available on Macmillan

The Wales Cancer Alliance also have a directory of member services. Their online community continues to provide invaluable emotional and peer support.

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