Local GP urges patients to contact their doctors about worrying symptoms

The local message comes as the NHS launches a 'Help Us Help You' campaign.
NHS Cancer Campaign Poster

A local GP has added her voice to a national campaign calling on people to contact their doctor if they are worried about symptoms that could be cancer.

Dr Kajal Patel, a GP at Milman Road Health Centre in Reading and GP clinical lead for cancer for Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Cancer is easier to treat when it’s caught at an earlier stage and so we really want people to come forward for a check – it could save your life."

Dr Patel spoke out after the NHS launched a ‘Help Us Help You’ publicity campaign (see poster above) after research showed nearly half (48 per cent) of the public said they would delay or not seek medical help.

Many said they didn’t want to be a burden on the health services whilst others said they were worried about getting Covid-19 or passing it on to others.

The symptoms people should look out for are changes in bowel habits, including blood in your poo, unexplained weight loss, a lump, persistent bloating or a pain that doesn’t go away.
— Reading GP, Dr Kajal Patel.

The research also showed that because of Covid, more than four in ten people said they would leave it longer to get health advice than they would normally.

But Dr Patel warned this could have serious consequences for some cancers and people should be reassured by NHS efforts to make services safe for patients.

“Our surgeries are all open for business. Please don’t think you’re a burden on them because they’re busy with Covid. They are there to keep everyone safe and well and, like cancer teams throughout the UK, they want to ensure that a cancer diagnosis, treatment and care continues as much as possible.”

All Reading GP surgeries are asking patients to call first to request an appointment. A phone consultation will be arranged with your GP, and they will ask you to go into the surgery if you need to be examined.

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