Be quick to act on cancer signs

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PEOPLE in the North-East are less likely to say they would contact a doctor to discuss possible signs of cancer within a week than the national average, according to new research.

The survey, carried out for the Be Clear on Cancer campaign, also found that respondents in this region are significantly less likely to name the most common causes of cancer and most likely to delay visiting their doctor because of fear of what they might find.

Be Clear on Cancer aims to encourage early diagnosis of cancer by helping people to recognise the warning signs of the disease.

Dr Tony Branson (right), medical director of the North of England Cancer Network, said: “If cancer is found early, then it’s more likely to be successfully treated, so anyone with any concerns about potential cancer symptoms should visit their GP without hesitating.”

The campaign is currently focusing on raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, which affects both men and women and is England’s third most common cancer, with around 34,000 new cases each year.

Most people diagnosed with bowel cancer are over 50 and those with a family history of the disease are more at risk.

But the sooner a patient is diagnosed, the better their chances of successful treatment and more than 90 per cent of those diagnosed with early stage bowel cancer are successfully treated.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/bowelcancer.