What’s stopping patients seeing their GP about cancer symptoms?

It's more than just fear of what the doctor might find

Patients with possible cancer symptoms are hesitant to see their GP for fear of what they might discover, as well as worries they’ll be wasting their doctor’s time, a UK survey finds. 

Just under half of those polled said they would always seek help straight away if they became aware of a symptom that could indicate cancer.

But half said they would put off seeing a doctor immediately if they were concerned about a symptom that might be cancer.

The Populus survey of 2000 British adults also found: 

  • One in four of those surveyed would not seek an appointment for fear of what the doctor might find. 
  • Worries they would be wasting their doctors’ time put off one in five – 18% of men and 25% of women – from seeking immediate help. 
  • Just over half of respondents were confident that their GP would spot a sign of cancer.
  • However