Majority cannot identify the body parts associated with major cancers, research finds
A survey by Bolt Burdon Kemp has highlighted that as many as 88% of Brits are unable to spot signs of cancer.
It also found that the majority cannot identify the body parts associated with major cancers, such as stomach (67%), liver (74%) and cervix (65%).
Meanwhile, 38% of Brits admitted to not knowing anything about less survivable cancers such as lung, pancreatic, liver, brain, oesophageal and stomach cancer, the survey of over 2000 respondents revealed.
Only 12% of people were able to correctly identify the seven most common cancer symptoms.
Bolt Burdon Kemp said: "Studies like this reinforce the importance of expert primary care. While the patient may know that there is something wrong with them, they may not always be able to communicate the problem in a way that accurately reflects what they are experiencing.
"This is where listening for key nuggets of information from the patient and asking more questions to understand exactly what their symptoms are, becomes vital. Confidently enquiring about things that may not seem relevant to them - such as their sleep quality - will help us build a more complete picture of their health. While awareness that an unexplained lump could mean cancer is high (75%), how many people understand that the fact they're experiencing night sweats is relevant to their concerns, too?
"But this is only half of the solution. Without better education for the public about their own bodies, and symptoms of cancer, there will always be a lag between the emergence of symptoms and diagnosis. A lag that, for many, could prove fatal."
The survey results follows predictions that the reduction in urgent referrals, and delays and cancellations to treatment during Covid-19 could contribute to a further 35,000 deaths in the next five years, following a 44% rise in people waiting for scans to diagnose cancer.
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