Most people ignore cancer warning signs
Many people still attribute cancer warning signs to milder illnesses, thereby missing the chance for an early diagnosis that may save their lives, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The study at University College London analyzed the responses of 1,724 people on a health questionnaire. The participants were all 50 or older and were asked if they had experienced a number of symptoms, 10 of which are defined as signs of cancer.According to the Cancer Research U.K., these symptoms include unexplained cough, changes in mole appearance, unexplained bleeding, persistent change in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss, difficulty swallowing, and unexplained lumps.
The fact that some of these ailments were cancer warning signs was not disclosed to the participants. They were also asked what they thought caused the symptoms, the seriousness of the symptoms, and whether or not they had consulted a doctor. The study found that only 2 percent of those questioned considered their symptoms to be cancer-related when 53 percent of them had experienced at least one cancer sign over the past three months. Even people who experienced more commonly known signs of cancer, such as unexplained lumps or changes in mole appearance, did not consider them to be cancer-related.
This study has shown that there is a need to educate people on the signs of cancer and to encourage them to consult a doctor sooner rather than later.