The “juddering halt” in the number of people contacting their doctor because they have found a suspected sign of cancer, such as a lump, is a “really big worry” and could increase the number of cancer deaths, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned.
“Far fewer people are coming forward,” Hancock told the Health and Social Care Committee. He urged anyone finding a lump that they think might be cancerous to immediately call their GP so that they can get treatement. The government will be doing “much, more work” on the issue over the coming weeks, he said, adding: “This is a really big worry of mine.”
Committee chair Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, said that in some areas of the country, referrals for cancer treatements within two weeks of a patient presenting were down 75 per cent.