“But of course the other conditions, sometimes the serious ones, don’t go away – they’re still there, and every year there are 39,300 people diagnosed with lung cancer in England and the symptoms often overlap.
“So a persistent cough for more than three weeks is also a symptom of lung cancer as it is with COVID-19, so it’s important that we tell people that if it’s not COVID-19, then that’s a serious symptom that needs to be urgently investigated.”
Reassuring patients, he added: “GP surgeries are open for business and there are Covid secure environments where you can go and be assessed and cancer treatment goes on uninterrupted, even during the pandemic.
“I think there’s a perception at the moment that cancer treatment has all but stopped and that people are missing out. The good news is that between March and December last year, when the pandemic was raging, cancer services were maintained pretty much as normal.”
Visit nhs.uk/cancersymptoms for more information.