HEALTH experts are worried that patients with cancer are not getting vital treatment and checks.

Figures show 160 patients started treatment at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust in August.

That is down from 257 people who began their treatment in August 2019.

Macmillan Cancer Support fears the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is “traumatising” people and leaving them too afraid to go to hospital, with fears of a second spike in cases.

Across England, 20,200 patients started treatment in August – more than 5,500 fewer than 25,800 a year earlier.

The figure hit a new low of 16,700 in May, although the figures have gone up in recent months.

But Macmillan head of policy Sara Bainbridge said the latest figures were “extremely worrying”.

She said: “Disruption to cancer diagnosis and treatment is having a traumatic impact on cancer patients’ lives.

“Earlier this week, the Health Secretary highlighted growing fears that rapidly rising Covid-19 rates could have an impact on the recovery of already fragile cancer services.

“Cancer must not become the ‘forgotten C’ during this pandemic.”

She has called on the Government to come up with an urgent plan and resources to boost capacity. Patients who are concerned should visit their GP for cancer screenings.