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Cancer Relief urges people to keep an eye on cancer symptoms and seek help

With routine screenings postponed during the Covid-19 lockdown, Cancer Relief Gibraltar has stressed the need for ‘self-health checks’ to ensure any signs and symptoms of cancer are being flagged.

The outbreak of coronavirus has seen the Gibraltar Health Authority shift its focus towards the pandemic, with many routine appointments cancelled.

And although services are now being resumed slowly against the backdrop of the low number of virus cases, there are concerns that signs and symptoms of cancer may have been missed as a result of the focus on Covid-19.

Cancer Relief Gibraltar is advising people to check their bodies and contact healthcare professionals if the need arises.

The charity added people should contact their GP if any symptoms occur and should not put this off until after the Covid-19 lockdown.

Those with concerns are welcome to contact Cancer Relief for advice.

“It is understandable that people will be worried if their routine check-up or screening has been delayed due to the Covid-19 crisis,” the charity told the Chronicle.

“However, it is especially important for us all to still carry out our own self-health checks.”

“Knowing your own body and knowing what is normal for you is an essential part of our overall general health and wellbeing.”

“We advise all our patients to check their bodies and make sure that they know what is normal for you.”

The charity stressed anyone who notices abnormalities should contact their GP and get it checked out.

Cancer Relief added important signs to look out for are:

- A new or unexplained symptom that does not have an obvious cause and that is unusual for you. For example, a new lump, swelling or bleeding without any history of injury.

- New, unexplained pain anywhere in your body that lasts for three weeks or more.

- Unexplained tiredness/fatigue for some time.

- Unexplained weight loss with no changes to your diet or exercise.

“Irrespective of the demands of Covid-19 on services or the current lockdown situation, you must always contact your GP if you have symptoms, including those above, that are ongoing, unexplained or unusual for you and are causing you concern,” the charity said.

“As healthcare professionals and health care providers, we have processes in place to ensure the safety of our patients and community.”

“You should not put off contacting your GP, if there is something you are worried about.”

“If you’re uncertain and just want to talk to someone about your concerns you can call the Cancer Relief Nurses anytime and we can help you chat through your concerns and advise you on the best course of action.”

The charity added that although the appointments have been postponed, they will all be rescheduled once services return to normal.

“This should not put anyone off from seeking GP review if they have any concerns before their appointment has been rescheduled.,” the charity said.

Cancer Relief Nurses can be contacted via tel: 20042392 or email: info@cancerrelief.gi.

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