The Muslim community is being urged to get checked if they have concerns about cancer.

New research by the NHS shows that almost half of the community would leave any concerns for longer than normal because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Now Muslim health care professionals are joining the chorus of doctors calling on everyone to keep their routine appointments.

Dr Hina Shahid, practising GP and Chair of the Muslim Doctors Association said “Covid has had an immense impact on many of us, but it’s really important to remember that NHS services are there to help you, safely. We encourage members of the public to continue with routine appointments and recognise potential cancer symptoms.”

The call from doctors comes as a fifth of people are cancelling cancer appointments as they don’t want to be a burden on the NHS. A similar number of people also fear catching Covid-19 or passing it on to others.

Doctors are warning that delaying treatment can have serious consequences for some cancers.

Community and faith-based organisations such as Muslim Doctors Association and Sharing Voices recently met with members of the NHS and PHE teams to discuss the campaign and the need to urge members of the Muslim community to utilise NHS services.

NHS staff have pulled out all the stops to keep cancer services going throughout the pandemic, with almost one million people referred for checks or starting treatment since the virus took hold.

NHS services have put a range of measures in place so that people can be treated safely throughout the pandemic including Covid protected cancer surgery hubs, a Covid friendly drugs fund which means fewer trips to hospital, and chemotherapy being delivered in more convenient locations.