By Rebecca McGirr
Local GP Dr Brendan O’Hare has claimed that cancer patients have ‘paid a price’ due to Covid 19 taking precedence and are now presenting later in the system.
This comes after a study conducted by Cancer Research UK and supported by NI Cancer Registry at Queen’s University Belfast found that more than a quarter of cancers in the North were being diagnosed in hospital emergency departments.
Mr O’Hare explained how the pandemic has changed the way people are being diagnosed with cancer.
He said, “What we are finding is when we see someone with potentially serious symptoms and try to admit them to hospital we are never able to admit them directly, we are asked to send them to A and E for assessment and in A and E they would do scans and take patients bloods and it may be for that reason a large number of tumours are being detected and more so than expected because that is our route to get someone into the hospital at the minute.”
He continued, “I think the pandemic has certainly changed the pattern of presentation of patients and the way in which patients are processed. Certainly over the last year people delayed presenting anywhere with serious health problems as they maybe felt that the system was under pressure and certainly access would have been an issue. Unfortunately, because of this there were people who had disease that went undetected and they are presenting a little bit later than they should have done.”
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