Leeds Cancer Programme has shared an urgent plea on behalf of the city’s GPs, calling for anyone with concerning cancer symptoms not to delay consulting their doctor due to the much publicised pressure on the NHS.

GPs are still welcoming telephone triages of patients with concerning symptoms as the earliest diagnosis and treatment is vital. Across Leeds, there has been a significant reduction of urgent cancer referrals from General Practices to Hospitals, a worrying indicator that residents may be delaying talking to their doctor due to the current Coronavirus pandemic.

To reassure residents in Leeds, Dr Andy Robinson, Lead GP for Cancer Prevention, Screening and Awareness, Leeds NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The earliest diagnosis and treatment of cancer is absolutely vital. As GPs we appreciate people’s concerns in contacting their doctor in these unprecedented times, but we urge you to still telephone us if you have any worrying or concerning symptoms. GPs will be able to triage you over the telephone and support you in the next steps with an urgent referral, so please do not delay to get the help you need.”

The four main symptoms to look out and act upon for are:

  1. Unexplained blood that doesn’t come from an obvious injury
  2. An unexplained lump
  3. Unexplained weight loss, which feels significant
  4. Any type of unexplained pain that doesn’t go away, not including long standing pain where there is already a cause, (i.e. back pain).

Anyone noticing these symptoms should feel confident to contact their GP to arrange a telephone triage in the first instance.

Leeds Cancer Programme’s media release can be downloaded here.