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People as concerned about Covid as cancer, reveals survey

Cancer patients are as concerned about being infected with Covid-19 as they are about their cancer according to a study that also reveals many turned to patient groups and online forums for information during the pandemic.

Research carried out in June by Cancer 52, which represents around 100 patient support groups and charities, found the majority of respondents think their risk from Covid-19 is medium or high.

The survey, which had 1,052 responses from people in England, found that people used online patient groups and forums for support during the outbreak as well as their cancer teams and helplines. 

Just 29 (three per cent) said they were diagnosed with cancer between March and June and of those, four delayed getting help because of concerns over going to their GP during the pandemic.

Nine said they had tests and investigations delayed, four were advised to wait for treatment while 12 faced no delays and started treatment.

Seventy per cent with rare and less common cancers were found to be shielding and found the psychological impact of shielding difficult, with access to food or medicines proving hard.

The study found that some of the changes made during the pandemic have been welcomed by cancer patients, with many respondents saying they want to maintain phone or video appointments and treatments delivered to their homes.

However, not being able to be seen face to face, have visitors at hospital and delays to tests, treatment and follow-up appointments were all cited as negative aspects.

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