But sadly that now looks like a possible “unintended consequence” of this once-in-a-lifetime emergency.
Cancer Research UK has today revealed shocking estimates that show 2,300 cancers are being missed every week because patients are not going to visit their doctor during lockdown.
Referrals from GPs for urgent hospital checks have plummeted by 75 per cent during the pandemic, meaning 31,000 folk are not seeking the help they need.
That’s not even accounting for the predicted 400 diagnoses that are missed each week while breast, cervical and bowel cancer screening is suspended for around 200,000 patients.
Yesterday’s ONS figures showed the highest death rate in two decades, with an additional 1,800 folk dying than usual without any reported connection to Covid-19.
That’s why I have been determined to give a voice to lockdown contrarians over the course of this crisis on my talkRADIO show.
Many believe the points made by columnist Peter Hitchens, The Sun’s Associate Editor Trevor Kavanagh, The Spectator’s Toby Young and best-selling author Lionel Shriver are jarring alongside the government’s very stark message of staying at home and saving lives.
But among their points is that many more lives may well be lost if the lockdown continues for longer than it needs to.
Not just from cancer, of course, but heart attacks, strokes, suicide, domestic violence and, perhaps most of all, from the extreme poverty hurtling towards us as the country stays shut down.
But my message to you today is not political, it’s personal.
If you discover a lump, if you think your cancer might be coming back, if you have an unusual growth on your body, please God do NOT ignore it.
Your GP is open. Hospitals are open. And the risk of the leaving the house to seek medical help for a potential cancer is much lower than leaving a potential cancer to develop without medical assistance.
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