Jacquie Beltrao, 45, who’s worked for Sky News since 1992, revealed she was battling breast cancer in 2013. With the UK currently in lockdown to prevent further spread of coronavirus, meaning people have to stay at home, cancer diagnoses have been expected to drop. But the former Olympic gymnast to still contact their GP by phone if they suspect they have symptoms.
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Taking to her Twitter, Jacquie said: “I just wanted to talk about something that was really bothering me.
“If you find a lump, a bump, a ridge, something unusual on your body you must get it checked out.
“Don’t think I can’t be bothered with the NHS at his time or I’m scared to go into a hospital at this time. Just pick up the phone, get some kind of online referral.”
Jacquie added: “When a top oncologist in this country says normally in April, 30,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer – now this April it’s probably only going to be about 5,000. That is not good news.
“That means 25,000 people are walking around, maybe with cancer, and they don’t yet know it.”
Jacquie went on to reiterate the point early detection is so important.
Recounting her own cancer experience, she said: “When I found mine it was about the size of a pearl earring, like a small pea. It was early and the outcome was good.
“If you leave it you don’t know how fast that’s growing.
“So please, just pick up the phone, you’re not time-wasting, nobody will mind.
“Just get it checked out. Put your mind at rest so that the outcome, if it’s bad, will be good.”
The NHS says it’s important to be aware of any unexplained changes to your body.
While symptoms are often caused by other, non-cancerous illnesses, it’s still important to get in touch with your GP.
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What are the symptoms of cancer?
The symptoms of cancer include:
- Lump in your breast
- Coughing, chest pain and breathlessness
- Changes in bowel habits
- Unexplained weight loss
Cancer Research says you should still contact your doctor if you notice a change that isn’t normal for you or if you have any possible signs and symptoms of cancer.
It advises: “Even if you’re worried about what the symptom might be, or about getting coronavirus don’t delay contacting them. Your worry is unlikely to go away if you don’t make an appointment. The symptom might not be due to cancer.
“But if it is, the earlier it’s picked up the higher the chance of successful treatment. You won’t be wasting your doctor’s time.”
It adds: “The coronavirus outbreak means that GPs are talking to people on the phone or online. This is to reduce the risk of coronavirus to them and their patients. When you speak to them, they will ask about your symptoms and tell you if you need to go into the surgery to see a GP.
“They may suggest that you keep an eye on your symptoms and arrange another appointment to check in with them after a certain amount of time. Make sure you know when and how to contact them. And contact them again if your symptoms get worse or don’t get better.”
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