LONDON: Muslim health care professionals are backing a major new campaign urging anyone concerned about cancer to get checked and to keep routine appointments, as new research found that even now, nearly half (48%) of the public would delay or not seek medical help at all.
A fifth (22%) would not want to be a burden on the health service while a similar number said that fear of getting coronavirus or passing it onto others was a major reason for not getting help.
More than four in ten people would leave it longer to get health advice than they normally would have before the coronavirus outbreak, however delaying can have serious consequences for some cancers.
NHS staff have pulled out all the stops to keep cancer services going throughout the pandemic, with almost one million people referred for checks or starting treatment since the virus took hold.
Community and faith-based organisations such as Muslim Doctors Association, Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group and Sharing Voices recently met with members of the NHS and PHE teams to discuss the campaign and the need to urge members of the Muslim community to utilise NHS services.
Dr Hina Shahid, Practising GP in North West London and Chair of the Muslim Doctors Association said: “Covid has had an immense impact on many of us, but it’s really important to remember that NHS services are there to help you, safely. We encourage members of the public to continue with routine appointments and recognise potential cancer symptoms.”
NHS services have put a range of measures in place so that people can be treated safely throughout the pandemic including Covid protected cancer surgery hubs, a Covid friendly drugs fund which means fewer trips to hospital and chemotherapy being delivered in more convenient locations.
Symptoms of cancer include:
- Changes in bowel habits, including blood
- Unexplained weight loss
- A lump
- Persistent bloating
- Pain that does not go away
For more information about using NHS services during coronavirus, visit nhs.uk/yourhealthmatters