Published: 09:41 AM, 02 December 2020
Muslim health care professionals are backing a major newcampaign urging anyone concerned about cancer to get checked and to keeproutine appointments, as new research found that even now, nearly half (48%) ofthe public would delay or not seek medical help at all.
A fifth (22%) would not want to be a burden on the healthservice while a similar number said that fear of getting coronavirus or passingit onto others was a major reason for not getting help.
More than four in ten people would leave it longer to gethealth 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 cancerservices going throughout the pandemic, with almost one million people referredfor checks or starting treatment since the virus took hold.
Community and faith-based organisations such as Muslim DoctorsAssociation, Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group and Sharing Voicesrecently met with members of the NHS and PHE teams to discuss the campaign andthe need to urge members of the Muslim community to utilise NHS services.
Dr Hina Shahid, Practising GP in North West London andChair of the Muslim Doctors Association said “Covid has had an immenseimpact on many of us, but it’s really important to remember that NHS servicesare there to help you, safely. We encourage members of the public to continuewith routine appointments and recognise potential cancer symptoms.”
NHS services have put a range of measures in place so thatpeople can be treated safely throughout the pandemic including Covid protectedcancer surgery hubs, a Covid friendly drugs fund which means fewer trips tohospital 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 duringcoronavirus, visit nhs.uk/yourhealthmatters