A cancer survivor and doctor from Meppershall is urging people to continue all of their appointments during lockdown.

Today, on World Cancer Day, Dr Daksha Trivedi - who beat cancer of the oesophagus in 2019 - is again joining Macmillan Cancer Support in urging cancer patients to continue to attend their scheduled treatment and check-up appointments, where possible, during the latest lockdown.

Dr Trivedi is an academic in Public Health research at the University of Hertfordshire and worked with Macmillan Cancer Support in October to encourage cancer patients to continue with their treatment ahead of the November lockdown.

She is concerned that with the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in hospital across the country, some cancer patients might feel increasingly anxious about being exposed to the virus when visiting hospital and will be missing their appointments.

Dr Trivedi, who is author of 'Now living the dream: A tale of surviving cancer', said: “It’s critical that cancer patients keep up with their appointments during the pandemic to ensure they access treatment and maintain their path to recovery.

"It’s only natural to feeling anxious or have concerns about visiting a hospital or healthcare setting during the pandemic, and even more so if you’re already experiencing fear and anxiety following a diagnosis of cancer.

“Do reach out to your oncology team for advice and reassurance. Your appointments may be a little different during this period, being moved online or speaking to your doctor behind a mask and PPE, but it’s really crucial to continue your treatment.

"In my own cancer recovery journey I found that focusing on positive strategies and a positive mindset really helped me overcome an anxious and difficult period of my life.”

A Macmillan GP in Bedfordshire Dr Saheli Chaudhury added: “COVID-19 is dominating the headlines at the moment, but cancer patients can be reassured that their health is still very much a priority for the NHS.

"Healthcare professionals and their teams of dedicated staff are taking every possible precaution to keep people safe when they attend hospital for routine treatment and appointments.

“Cancer is at risk of becoming the ‘forgotten C’ of this pandemic, as some people fear the risk of catching the coronavirus outweighs the benefits of continuing with their care and treatment.

"This could not be further from the truth – in delaying your care you could be damaging your chances of being treated successfully for cancer."