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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.
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.

What is cancer?
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.
Signs and symptoms
There are different signs and types of cancer and spotting the early signs could save your life.  Anyone with symptoms and worried is advised to contact their GP practice immediately. 
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.

If you have a symptom that could be cancer such as an:
  • unexplained blood that doesn’t come from an obvious injury
  • unexplained lump
  • unexplained pain that lasts three weeks or more
  • weight loss which feels significant to you
  • or, a routine appointment, the NHS is here to help you and can see you safely.
To find out more about the signs and symptoms of cancer visit the NHS website.


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 us to help you by continuing to attend these.
Who to contact
It’s probably nothing serious, but finding cancer early makes it more treatable, so just contact to your GP practice.

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.  Your NHS is here to see you, safely.
Patient information
Tameside and Glossop Macmillan
Macmillan Cancer Support website
Cancer Research UK – (COVID-19 and cancer)
Bowel Cancer Support Group

Living with cancer and beyond

Time to look after yourself (Breast screening)
I’m just a bit bloated
Just got the runs
Just a bit uncomfortable