1/4 of people would put off going to the doctor with a potentially serious symptom
Friday, March 30, 2012
New research from Bowel Cancer UK has found that over a quarter
of people (27%) would put off going to the doctor with a
potentially serious symptom because they would be worried about
what the diagnosis may be.
According to Bowel Cancer UK around 80% of people can now name
at least one symptom of bowel cancer. This is a significant
improvement on last year's survey where only 43% recognised any
symptom. (Bowel Cancer UK BCAM survey 2011).
The survey launched in the run up to April's Bowel Cancer
Awareness Month also worryingly showed that around a quarter of
people would be too scared (23%) or would feel awkward (22%) about
discussing a symptom with their doctor if one arose.
It is also very concerning that a quarter of people (25%) may
find it difficult to make an appointment with their doctor thereby
delaying a possible diagnosis.
Only 35% of people thought bowel cancer was one of the three
most common cancers amongst women and many respondents incorrectly
thought women were more likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer
(67% thought it was one of the top 3 most common cancers) than
Deborah Alsina, CEO, Bowel Cancer UK said: "It's good news that
people are now more likely to recognise the symptoms of bowel
cancer. However it's deeply worrying if they are still unwilling to
act upon them. I can't stress enough how important it is for people
to go to their doctor if they have concerns, it really might save
Sonia was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009 and says "I
experienced symptoms for a couple of years and put them down to IBS
before I collapsed and was referred for further investigation. I'm
now in recovery but following my experience I urge, that if you
have any symptoms, even if you think they may be trivial, please
act on them immediately and visit your doctor. Knowing the symptoms
alone is not enough to improve survival from this disease."
About the survey results
Here are some selected answers from the question: Sometimes
people can put off or delay going to see the doctor/health
professional, even when they have a potentially serious symptom
they need a diagnosis for. Which, if any, of the following are
reasons why you might be put-off going to see a doctor/health
professional if you had a symptom/something that you need to talk
to them about?
- 'I cannot afford to be off work'
- 'I would not know the seriousness of the symptom'
- 'I'm scared of hospitals'
- 'I don't have confidence in my GP''
- 'It might get better on its own'
- 'Most symptoms are vague and can be easily explained'
- 'Doctors don't care'
- 'NHS bureaucracy'
About the survey
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total
sample size was 2055 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between
23rd-26th March 2012. The survey was carried out online. The
figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults