50% of UK adults fail to contact their GP within 6 months

A new poll, carried out by YouGov for Cancer Research UK, has revealed that half of people with a possible cancer symptom don’t contact their GP within six months, despite having spotted changes to their body. The survey, of almost 2,500 people, found that just 48% of those who had experienced a ‘red flag’ cancer symptom (including coughing up blood, unexplained weight loss and a new or unusual lump) contacted their GP within half a year. 

Early diagnosis is vital for everyone, because it makes treatment more effective and therefore improves chances of survival.  Even if it's difficult to get an appointment, it is important to contact your GP if you notice a change that isn't normal for you or if you have any possible signs and symptoms of cancer. You can read more about talking to your doctor on our website, or watch our video about diagnosing cancer early. [video:https://youtu.be/jeWPYhhi5F0]


  • Thank you for sharing. This statistic is concerning, spreading awareness is so important.

    Back in January, I was watching Good Morning Britain and Adele Roberts was on there talking about her bowel cancer symptoms and I couldn't believe that she wasn't feeling unwell and just saw mucus and blood.

    In March, I had a little bit of bleeding and ignored it at first assuming it was my period or I wiped too hard. But then one morning, I suddenly lost lots of blood and remembered the interview and I decided to call the doctors. The bleeding continued and I started getting other symptoms.

    Thankfully, it seems like everything's okay and I just have haemorrhoids. I am still waiting on biopsy results so hoping those will be normal. It's so much better to be safe than sorry.

  • Thank you Amelia for sharing your experience and I'm pleased to hear that everything turned out Ok for you

  • Wow that's crazy how long people wait to see the GP. I admit I don't go right away, I wait a few weeks to see if things improve but I don't leave it months. It's better to be safer than sorry when it comes to your health and wellbeing.

    I recently have had a few unpleasant symptoms with digestion, pain, feeling unwell and I left it a few weeks but it didn't get better and then I saw the GP and she felt around and found a lump so I had urgent scan which I'm still waiting for results for at the moment. I just imagine how bad it could be if I hadn't gone and left it months.

    I know no one really likes going to see the GP and having tests but you can't let fear stop you because the earlier things are found the better the outcome hopefully.