Lung cancer screenings have seen a significant decline as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, The Guardian reports.

According to figures from Cancer Research UK, about 350,000 fewer people than normal received urgent suspected cancer referrals across all cancers since the end of March, while 3 million people have missed out on cancer screening.

Dr Neil Smith, Cancer Research UK’s GP for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance, said the lack of urgent cancer referrals is currently the “black hole” in cancer services.

“The biggest thing I have noticed during coronavirus is that fewer of my patients are actually coming forwards to tell me about the signs and the symptoms of cancer. They seem to be reluctant to do so,” he said.

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