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Sunday 23rd October 2016

Cancer delay warning

7th October 2009

A survey by Cancer Research UK has revealed that almost 40% of people in the UK would delay going to a GP with cancer symptoms because they would be worried about wasting the doctor's time.


The charity questioned 2,200 people and found that while 20% would be embarrassed about going, 37% would put the visit off because they were frightened.

Following the survey, the charity has emphasised that late diagnosis reduces the chances of survival and points out that cancer survival rates have risen in recent years.

One of the reasons the UK sits behind many European countries in terms of cancer is because of late diagnosis.

The survey also indicated that in cases of cancer, women were more likely to delay going to see their family doctor.

Professor Jane Wardle from the charity said: "It's typically British to think 'I mustn't bother the doctor'.

"But when this etiquette stops us talking to the GP about potentially serious symptoms, it can be dangerous.

"A lot of work needs to be done to help people feel like they can go to their doctor as soon as they find something that could be a symptom of cancer."

Royal College of GPs president, Professor Steve Field, said more must be done to convince people that “cancer is not a death sentence.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: "It is vital that anyone with cancer symptoms sees their GP urgently. We know that, generally, the earlier a cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chance that it can be treated successfully."


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