Fear of cancer is stopping one in four people from going to the doctor

Fear of cancer is stopping one in four people from going to the doctor
A survey on public attitudes to cancer has shown fear as one of the biggest barriers to early diagnosis, treatment and cure (Photo: Shutterstock)

A quarter of people in the UK would not go to their doctor after discovering possible cancer symptoms because they are too worried about the diagnosis.

The results of a survey on public attitudes to cancer has shown fear as one of the biggest barriers to early diagnosis, treatment and cure.

World Cancer Day

The poll has been highlighted as part of World Cancer Day – an annual event to raise awareness of the disease. This year it is pointing out the need for action to increase early stage detection, screening, and diagnosis to significantly improve cancer patients’ chances of survival.

The event, led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), aims to inspire and encourage action from individuals, the health community, and governments to improve public awareness and access to early detection, screening, and diagnosis.

990 people diagnosed with cancer every day

In 2018, 18 million people worldwide were diagnosed with cancer and in the UK alone, more than 360,000 people are diagnosed every year – that’s nearly 990 people every day.

When a cancer is detected at an early stage – and when coupled with appropriate treatment – the chance of survival beyond five years is dramatically higher than when detected at a later stage.

Chief Executive Officer at the Union for International Cancer Control, Dr Cary Adams said, “This World Cancer Day, we want people to know that many cancers can be managed and even cured, especially if they’re detected and treated as early as possible.

“By detecting cancer at its earliest stage, we seize the greatest opportunity to prevent millions of avoidable deaths worldwide.”