Checking possible cancer symptoms is still important during COVID-19 

29/04/2020 00:00 
GPs and hospitals are open for business and ready to respond safely, as one patient’s experience shows.

North Central London Cancer Alliance staff member, Helga Laszlo, has just had a breast cyst removed at the Macmillan Cancer Centre and described the experience, under COVID-19 restrictions, as “very reassuring”.

Helga, who is currently on maternity leave, felt a lump in her breast around the time that the COVID-19 outbreak began to escalate in the UK. She phoned her GP practice and a telephone consultation was arranged for later that day. Her GP was concerned enough to make an urgent referral. Her appointment came through and, despite being worried about the potential risk of catching the coronavirus, she attended the Macmillan Cancer Centre at UCLH last week.

“At the door I was asked questions about my own health, whether I have had or have any COVID-19 symptoms, and whether I have been in contact with anyone who has had symptoms or is self-isolating,” says Helga. “As I was ok to proceed, I was asked to use the hand sanitizer and was given a face mask. I went to the waiting area where social distancing was in force. All the staff were very helpful and took the time to explain my treatment and how they would use PPE.”

Helga saw a doctor, had an ultrasound scan and then the cyst was removed, all on the same day.

“All the clinicians I needed to see wore PPE. I was very reassured that the right steps were being taken in all parts of the Macmillan Cancer Centre to keep patients as safe as possible. And of course I was relieved to have the cyst removed!”

“Through my professional life I also know how important it is to investigate any signs of cancer as early as possible. In the Cancer Alliance we are working to improve the ways in which local people can access early diagnosis and treatment.

“While we live through COVID-19, taking care of our other health needs should not stop. If you spot any change in your body or how you feel, contact your GP. I’m very glad I did.”


Read how the UCLH Cancer Hub is handling urgent cancer surgery.

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