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    Don’t delay if you spot early warning signs of cancer

    Spotting the early signs of cancer could save your life.  Anyone with symptoms and worried is advised to contact their GP practice immediately. 
     
    In support of World Cancer Day on 4 February 2021, NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is raising awareness of the different signs and types of cancer and is urging local people to seek advice from their GP practice if they have any concerns – visit https://www.tamesideandglossopccg.org/canceradvice
     
    On average 1,345 people in Tameside and Glossop are diagnosed with cancer each year. 
    Referrals for suspected cancer declined during the pandemic and, while some areas are seeing pre-COVID levels of referrals, other areas are still not back to where they were.

    This is especially true for suspected lung cancer where the symptoms can sometimes overlap with symptoms of COVID. There are still some people with worrying symptoms who are not contacting their GP practice and should be getting in touch especially if they have a persistent cough, are coughing up blood, losing weight or having repeated chest infections.

    In the UK, the four most common types of cancer are breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and bowel cancer.
     
    Cancer services remain an absolute priority for the NHS. The rapid rise in COVID-19 incidence and hospitalisation are creating pressures across NHS services, but staff are working to ensure that cancer diagnosis and treatment can continue safely.

    If your treatment is less urgent, it may be rescheduled, but it will go ahead as soon as it is possible and safe to do so. If you have hospital appointments scheduled, please do help by continuing to attend these.

    CCG Clinical lead for cancer, Dr Cressida Crabtree, said: “When cancer is diagnosed early, treatment is more likely to be successful. One in two people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.
     
    “Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. The cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs.  It’s important that people know the early warning signs and act by getting in touch with their GP practice.”
     
    Changes to normal processes or unusual, unexplained symptoms can sometimes be an early sign of cancer.  Symptoms that need to be checked by a doctor include: a lump that suddenly appears on your body, unexplained bleeding and changes to your bowel habits.  In many cases symptoms will not be related to cancer and will be caused by other, non-cancerous health conditions.
     
    Co-Chair at NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG, Dr Ashwin Ramachandra, said: “Patients will get the tests they need if there’s a concern their condition might be cancer and will be treated. GP practices and hospitals are still open and want to hear from anyone who is concerned about their health.
     
    “It’s probably nothing serious, but finding cancer early makes it more treatable and can save lives. Speak to your GP. Your NHS is here to see you, safely.”
     
    NHS services are still open and local people can be assured that they will not be a burden on the NHS during the pandemic. 
     
    For more information on the different types of cancer visit https://www.tamesideandglossopccg.org/canceradvice