One in five adults too embarrassed to visit their GP with cancer symptoms
Wednesday 9 January 2019
Healthcare group, BUPA, have today released survey results citing that one fifth of UK adults – around 6.6 million people – have put off seeking medical advice around ‘embarrassing’ cancer symptoms.
The results showed the “embarrassment factor” was responsible for delays of around two months on average between noticing symptoms and contacting a health care professional.
With bowel cancer symptoms, such as a change in bowel habits, leading to an even longer delay of up to 10 weeks.
Over a half of those who were nervous about visiting the doctor said they did not know how to start a discussion with their GP, a third said they would rather talk over the phone and a similar number said they would rather get their advice online.
Gail Curry, Head of Health Promotion and Training at Bowel Cancer UK, says: “Every year in the UK, nearly 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer, making it the UK’s second biggest cancer killer. Being aware of the symptoms and visiting your GP if things don’t feel right can help increase chances of an early diagnosis. Your doctor sees people with bowel concerns every day so there is nothing to be embarrassed about. It could save your life”