Study Reveals Britons Delay Seeking Cancer Help Due to GP Appointment Struggles, Raising Survival Concerns, Says Cancer Research UK

Study Reveals Britons Delay Seeking Cancer Help Due to GP Appointment Struggles, Raising Survival Concerns, Says Cancer Research UK

A study conducted by Cancer Research UK has revealed significant delays in Britons seeking help for cancer symptoms, citing difficulties in securing GP appointments as a major deterrent.

Survival Risks Amplified by Appointment Challenges

The charity emphasized the potentially detrimental impact of these delays on cancer survival rates, urging individuals who suspect they may have cancer to persist in seeking medical assistance despite appointment hurdles.

Key Findings from the Poll

According to the survey, nearly half of respondents who experienced potential cancer symptoms did not reach out to their GP within six months.

Even among those with “red flag” symptoms, such as unexplained lumps or coughing up blood, a significant portion delayed seeking medical attention.

Barriers to Seeking Help

The study identified various reasons for delayed GP consultations, including difficulty in obtaining appointments, inconvenient timing, and concerns about being perceived as fussing or wasting NHS resources.

Expert Advice and Recommendations

Dr. Richard Roope, a GP and primary care adviser for Cancer Research UK, emphasized the importance of persistence in seeking medical assistance for concerning symptoms, despite the challenges individuals may face in securing appointments.

Education and Awareness

The survey also highlighted a gap in understanding regarding cancer screenings, with some individuals declining invitations under the misconception that screenings are only for symptomatic individuals.

Professor Kamila Hawthorne of the Royal College of GPs stressed the importance of seeking medical help promptly for signs of serious illness, including cancer.

NHS Response

An NHS England spokesman underscored the significance of early detection, noting that while cancer survival rates are improving, it remains critical for individuals to promptly seek medical attention for symptoms, with GPs now equipped to directly refer individuals for necessary tests.

Health News

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