From the editor: 'Watch yourself so we don’t miss the usual health threats'

We all have plenty to distract us at the minute and have had lots of our minds throughout 2020 which we wouldn’t normally have to face.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 11:34 am

Our priorities have shifted and rightly so but some things deserve our full focus whatever else is going on.

There are plenty of health scares which thousands of people in this city go through every year. Many of them lead to nothing, others are tackled and banished by our wonderful medical experts and some, sadly, are untreatable. The difference now is that we are so focused on Covid-19 that we aren’t paying to same attention to everything else. Since March,a million women in this country have not have the breast screening which they would have had pre-pandemic. That could mean they will die earlier than would have been the case in ‘normal times’. I’m sorry if that sounds blunt but we have to get this message through by any means necessary.

Let’s be clear, our GPs and our NHS are there for us no matter what the health issue. Yes, they have been overstretched in recent months and may well be again throughout winter, but that must not stop you making an appointment if you have concerns.

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Woman undergoing mammogram testing

Ignoring problems will not make them go away. Getting a professional opinion or a referral to experts in a specific area is still a very important thing, pandemic or no pandemic. In fact, it could be a lifesaver.

You aren’t ‘bothering’ your doctor. I know that many GPs are incredibly concerned because they aren’t seeing the usual numbers of queries about other issues. They don’t want you to wait until it is too late. If you are scared about leaving home then just pick up the phone.

We all know that many illnesses are easier to treat if we catch them in the early stages. That is why we have such good screening programmes … they keep us alive. Mamograms and smears aren’t pleasant but vitally important and we must not take our attention off crucial scans.

Look after yourself, keep a close eye on your body and don’t be afraid to seek help. Other illnesses haven’t been chased away by coronavirus. They are still there as strong as ever and we must not forget that.