A large fall in cancer referrals during the pandemic has prompted a specialist to urge people to see their GP.
Oncology specialist Professor Alhossain Khalafallah, who directs the Specialist Care Clinic at Ulverstone, said he estimated a fall in referrals of up to one third.
"Patients need to know they can feel confident to see their doctors again, as before," he said.
He put the drop in cases down to several factors.
"During this pandemic, elderly patients and high-risk patients were reluctant to go anywhere.
"This affected their attendance at the doctor's surgery. and hence the referrals to specialists.
"Another dynamic was the phone consultation, where a physical examination was not possible and hence the ... picture was incomplete."
The pandemic had affected radiology, pathology and biopsy services, which had also delayed diagnoses.
Patients can feel confident to see their doctors again as before.Cancer specialist Professor Al Khalafallah
Professor Khalafallah was confident that between the public and private sector, health professionals could cope with any higher demand once more of the public had their symptoms checked.
He was optimistic that the GPs on the front line would be seeing suspected cases as early as possible, and ordering the tests to be done.
Cancer Council CEO Penny Egan said, on average, 9.6 Tasmanians were diagnosed with cancer each day.
"We encourage people to continue to see their GP if they have issues at all, and take part in national screening programs for breast, bowel and cervical cancer."
Like Professor Khalafallah, she said a lot of older people were concerned about going out and were scared to go to the doctor.
"So referrals were not happening and diagnoses were not happening
"If you notice different things happening to your body; if you find a lump or something changing in your skin, anything that's unusual to you, go to your GP."