People in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre are being urged to contact their GP if they have any signs or symptoms of cancer.
In the last few weeks, there has been a sharp drop in the number of patients referred for investigations and appointments for suspected cancer.
There is a growing concern that some people are aware of new symptoms but are apprehensive about contacting their GP during the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, cancer specialists at Blackpool Victoria Hospital have reported a rise in cancellations of appointments to see people with suspected cancers.
Dr Adam Janjua, a Fleetwood GP who is the cancer lead for the Fylde Coast NHS, said: “We understand some people may be concerned about visiting their GP with symptoms or attending hospital for a cancer referral appointment – either because they’re worried about coming into contact with coronavirus or because they don’t want to trouble doctors at this time.
“But please be assured essential and urgent cancer services are continuing. If you have a cancer symptom, you should still contact your GP as normal. They will speak to you over the phone and if needed, you will be referred for further checks. If you are referred for further checks, it is vitally important you do everything to attend your appointment.
“Finding and treating cancer at an early stage can save lives – the NHS is still here for you.”
A number of measures are being taken to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection at the hospital.
These include all patients attending appointments being asked whether they have any symptoms on arrival, distancing measures being taken to keep people apart, and hand sanitizers are located by all entrances and are being monitored.
Only those who have an urgent need to be in the hospital have been given appointments, therefore there are no busy waiting rooms and waiting times will be kept to an absolute minimum.
You can find more information on our ‘NHS is still here for you’ page.