Half of UK adults with a possible cancer symptom do not contact their GP within six months, despite spotting changes to their body, research suggests.
A YouGov poll of 2,468 people for Cancer Research UK found that just 48% of those who had experienced a red flag symptom – including coughing up blood, unexplained weight loss and a new or unusual lump – contacted their GP within half a year.
Not telling a doctor about unusual health changes or possible cancer symptoms reduces the chances of an early cancer diagnosis, leading to potentially devastating outcomes.
Cancer Research UK’s chief executive Michelle Mitchell said: “Spotting cancer early is vital if more people are to survive, and the first step in that process is getting help for a possible cancer symptom.
“It’s really worrying to see such a large gap in accessing services between the UK’s most and least deprived groups.
“Earlier this year, the Government announced among its top priorities were improving early diagnosis of cancer and tackling health disparities.
“Cancer must remain a top priority and with the upcoming Health Disparities White Paper and 10-Year Plan for England, the new Health and Social Care Secretary has a huge opportunity to transform cancer survival with a clear and strong plan that works for all.”
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Source: The Independent, 10 August 2022