Cancer risk: Thousands of people potentially delaying early disease diagnosis

The research, released to mark World Cancer Day revealed 34 percent of people people are putting their health to the bottom of the "to do" list, due to time pressure, delaying seeking medical advice for potential symptoms of cancer and postponing screening appointments and instead turning to online search engines for advice.

A new survey of 2,100 people commissioned by private medical company HCA Healthcare and conducted by YouGov to tie in with World Cancer Day, has found that the British public are delaying crucial medical check-ups and screenings due to a lack of time, work commitments and lengthy commutes.

It showed more than one in ten would put off booking an appointment with their GP for at least a month if they discovered a changed mole, or lesion on their body - even though these symptoms could be a sign of cancer.

One in twenty indicated that they would be reluctant to seek medical advice at all for these symptoms.

Over a third blamed a fundamental lack of time for this, due to work commitments while cited not being able to visit a GP during opening hours.

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Vice Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Modern life can be really hectic and stressful, but it's important that our health doesn't take a backseat to other priorities.

"Even when we're busy, we all notice when something's not quite right and it's important not to ignore this.

"Some symptoms, like a dull ache, lump, unexpected weight loss...can be easy to overlook, but if you're worried then it's important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional.

"For some people, it's often tempting to just 'Google' symptoms, but patients need to be cautious about the quality of information available."

Dr Gill MacLeod, Executive Director of Primary Care HCA Healthcare UK said: "As a GP I would encourage those who do have concerns to put their health at the top of their priority list, and go and get checked by an expert as soon as they can.

"It is also vital that people don't delay taking up a routine screening for these same reasons."



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