“A conversation with your GP could save a life”

3 min read
A survey by Cancer Research UK published today claims that half of people with possible signs of cancer wait six months to contact a GP and that poorer people are less likely to see their family GP which could reduce their survival chances. The findings may help to explain why the UK has a persistently worse record than many other European and OECD countries on diagnosing cancer early. 

“As a nation we’re not very good at seeking help when we notice something’s wrong with us, which these figures seem to confirm,” said Rachel Power, the chief executive of the Patients Association.

Dame Cally Palmer, NHS England’s national cancer director, said: “We recognise that it is not easy talking about cancer, but a conversation with your GP could save a life. Early diagnosis of cancer is vital to give people the best possible treatment and it dramatically boosts chances of survival.”

This comes at a time when according to BBC News website a record 6.6 million people are waiting for scans, procedures or operations.

Our Director of Research, Policy and Innovation Dr Karen Noble commented on today’s news: “Clearly this is a difficult time for the NHS. Cancer must remain a top priority and with the upcoming 10 Year Plan for England, the new Health and Social Care Secretary has a huge opportunity to transform cancer survival. When it comes to brain tumours we applaud The Brain Tumour Charity’s current symptom awareness campaign #Bettersafethantumour. Although brain tumours are rare, if you or a loved one are experiencing two or more of the signs and symptoms it’s important that you speak to your doctor to rule out a brain tumour.”

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