Number one reason people say they might delay seeing GP is difficulty making an appointment

More than a third (39 percent) of people in Britain say difficulty making an appointment might  put them off going to the doctor about a symptom they think could be serious according to a new study from Cancer Research UK.

This was the reason the largest number of people gave for putting off going to the doctor and was mentioned more often than worry about what the doctor might find (32 percent) and wasting the doctor's time (24 percent).

Following on from another international survey published last month which found people in the UK were more likely to be embarrassed or worried about what the doctor might find than people in other countries, this British study suggests perceived difficulty in making an appointment is the biggest barrier confronting people considering visits to their surgery.

To gauge the public's knowledge of cancer, every two years Cancer Research UK asks people questions about the signs and symptoms of cancer and what might put them off going to the doctor.

Since 2010 initiatives including the Department of Health's Be Clear on Cancer and Cancer Research UK's Tesco Charity of the Year partnership have worked to raise awareness of the importance of early and reduce fear and fatalism.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK director of said: "The fact people now appear to be less scared, embarrassed or worried about what the doctor might find and more knowledgeable about cancer symptoms suggests real progress in our fight to increase early diagnosis of cancer and prevent thousands of .

"We hope projects like Be Clear on Cancer and Research UK's of the Year partnership with Tesco, which have aimed to spread awareness about the vital importance of early , may be playing a crucial role in this.

"Although these results suggest a shift away from emotional barriers to visiting the GP, it's concerning to think that something as simple as making a doctor's appointment could be putting people off seeking help for a serious symptom.

"Further work is now needed to find out what lies at the heart of this issue for example whether people dislike not being able to see the same GP, appointment times do not suit or if the booking system is too complicated."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Friendly nudge prompts 40 per cent to visit GP

Nov 27, 2012

More than a third (40 per cent) of people say talking to a friend or relative about a change to their body that was playing on their mind encouraged them to make an appointment with a GP, according to a new ...

Middle-aged hit by surge of potentially fatal skin cancer

Jul 24, 2012

British men and women in their 50s have seen cases of malignant melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer  - soar from fewer than 500 each year to almost 2,000* since the end of the 1970s, new figures from Cancer Research UK show today. ...

Poor people more likely to view cancer as fatal

Oct 10, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- People in lower paid jobs are pessimistic about the benefits of diagnosing cancer early and more scared than affluent people to see a doctor about an unusual symptom, new research shows.

Recommended for you

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

3 hours ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

Pot-infused edibles: One toke over the line in Colorado?

13 hours ago

Marijuana shops have sprouted across Denver ever since Colorado legalized the drug for adults in January, but the popularity of pot-infused edibles has surprised authorities, and parents are seeking a ban ahead of Halloween.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.