A CHARITY has used a North Yorkshire coastline to create a stark reminder of the plight of 'forgotten' cancer patients during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A series of almost 100 pairs of gigantic footsteps have filled Cayton Bay near Scarborough to represent the tens of thousands of people who Macmillan Cancer Support estimates have not yet had their cancer diagnosed.

The delays are due to the disruption to cancer services and fewer people seeking medical care during Covid-19.

To highlight this, Macmillan is releasing a powerful series of pictures and a film of the giant footprints being created and washed away at high tide, to represent the ongoing risk of cancer becoming the ‘Forgotten C’ amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 190 footprints – each measuring in at a colossal six metres in length and which took over 12 hours to carve – extended for over one kilometre across the length of Cayton Bay.

Commissioned by Macmillan, the striking installation was created to coincide with the publication of a new report by the charity.

'The Forgotten C? The impact of Covid-19 on cancer care' reveals that as many as 50,000 people in the UK have cancer which has not yet been diagnosed because of Covid-19 disruption.

Worryingly, the new report further reveals that this could double by this time next year if cancer referrals and screening do not catch up.

Lynda Thomas, chief executive at Macmillan, said: “These footprints represent the tens of thousands of people who are yet to hear the life-changing news that they have cancer, and those who are having their appointments disrupted once again.

"It is simply unacceptable if these people face unbearable and unprecedented delays which could see their hopes for the future washed away."

Macmillan is now calling on officials to guarantee that NHS cancer services will have ringfenced staffing and resources this winter, thus preventing redeployment of resources meant for cancer patients.