When it comes to treating cancer, getting diagnosed early really can mean the difference between life and death.
However a patient survey revealed that more than half of Brits ignore “red-flag” symptoms because they are worried about wasting their doctor’s time.
Many weren’t aware of the sings of cancer and blamed their ailments on ageing.
So what are the early symptoms to look out for?
Some of the potential early warning signs of cancer include:
1. Unexplained weight loss or a sore that does not heal
2. A persistent cough or hoarseness, a lump, diarrhoea or constipation
3. Moles with an irregular shape or jagged edges should be checked by a GP.
4. A feeling of not having fully emptied your bowels after going to the toilet are other signs
5. Blood in vomit, urine or faeces, bleeding between periods.
According to the survey of more than 1,700 people over the age of 50, more than 50% of people in the UK had experienced at least one of these symptoms, but only 2% thought cancer could be the cause.
The study, by Cancer Research, found that the majority of people were worried that there GP would think their complaint was trivial.
Others said they were too scared of a cancer diagnosis to seek help and some believed in maintaining a “stiff upper lip”. And worryingly a large proportion of Brits hadn’t gone to see a medical professional because they lacked confidence in the health system.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, accounting for almost a sixth (15%) of all cases in males and females combined.
The next most common is prostate cancer (13%) followed by lung (13%) and bowel (12%).