If you are at all concerned about a cancer sign or symptom, NHS Western Isles is encouraging you not to delay and contact your GP for advice as soon as possible.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of screening programmes have been temporarily paused. 

And the latest research has found individuals are less likely to contact their GP at this present time, with many concerned about their safety, or unsure what to expect if they do go.

NHS Western Isles would like to reassure islanders that contacting your GP can be the best way to get any potential cancer symptoms checked - as the earlier cancer is found, the easier it is to treat.

Dr Frank McAuley, NHS Western Isles Medical Director, said, “The NHS is here for you, so don’t ignore the warning signs.  You are not being a burden, you are looking after yourself and our NHS by seeking help.

"Please don’t put your health at risk. Your community pharmacy, ophthalmologist, and your GP are open, please contact them for advice or with concerns that are not COVID-19 related.

"If you notice a deterioration in your health or the health of someone in your household, call your GP in normal hours, 111 out of hours, or in an emergency dial 999.

 Some symptoms to look out for include:

  • breast changes
  • bladder changes
  • bleeding or bruising, for no known reason
  • bowel changes 
  • cough 
  • eating problems
  • fatigue that is severe and lasts
  • fever or night sweats for no known reason
  • mouth changes
  • neurological problems
  • skin changes
  • swelling or lumps 
  • weight gain or weight loss for no known reason

Find out more about cancer signs and symptoms at www.getcheckedearly.org