Almost half the general public feel concerned about contacting their doctor in the current climate - and this hesitancy could put more strain on the NHS in the long-term, according to doctors.
The fear of contracting or spreading coronavirus is discouraging people from getting themselves checked, but England's top cancer doctor has confirmed there is no need to delay.
Professor Peter Johnson, the NHS Clinical Director For Cancer, stressed that NHS staff had worked hard to ensure checks and treatments can be administered safely.
The NHS National Clinical Director For Cancer is urging the public to contact their GP immediately if they suspect something is not right.
Prof Johnson said: “NHS staff have made huge efforts to deal with coronavirus but they are also working hard to ensure that patients can safely access essential services such as cancer checks and urgent surgery.
“From online consultations to the roll-out of cancer treatment hubs we are doing all we can to make sure patients receive the life-saving care that they need.
“The wishes of patients and their families will always come first, and we have to make sure that people feel safe coming to hospitals, but my message is clear: people should seek help as they always would.
“We know that finding cancer early gives us the best chance to cure it, and ignoring potential problems can have serious consequences now or in the future.”
A sharp drop in cancer referrals has sent alarm bells ringing in the health industry - leading to the launch of a campaign prompting the public to contact health experts if they showed symptoms of disease.
Online consultations and COVID-free cancer hubs have been set up by the NHS to provide excellent treatment whilst keeping patients protected.
Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “The earlier a cancer is diagnosed, the more likely it is treatment will be successful and the higher the chance of survival.
"So even in these stressful times it’s vital people don’t delay seeking help with cancer symptoms.”
For more information, visit NHS England.