Friendly nudge prompts 40 per cent to visit GP

November 27, 2012, Cancer Research UK
Friendly nudge prompts 40 per cent to visit GP

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 survey from Cancer Research UK.

Of these, men were most likely to be given a push by their other halves with nearly three quarters (72 per cent) saying their partner urged them to go whereas just over half (58 per cent) of women said the same.

also play a pivotal role with nearly a third (29 per cent) of those asked saying it was their mothers who prompted them to make an appointment.

The of more than 4,200 adults was carried out by YouGov for Research UK and Tesco who have just launched a new online video campaign to raise awareness about the importance of talking to your GP about any unusual or persistent changes to your body.

The light-hearted two minute film uses humour to increase awareness of the huge improvements in cancer survival rates since the 1970s. Today, in the UK, you are twice as likely to survive cancer compared to 40 years ago.

Dr Chris Steele from ITV's This Morning is backing the campaign and said: "As a myself I know how daunting it can feel to take that first step and visit a GP when there's something that's been playing on your mind. Often talking to someone close to you about it first can give you a much needed prompt to take action.

"It's really important that we all get to know our bodies and get any unusual or persistent changes checked out. The chances are it won't be cancer, but if it is, getting it diagnosed and treated at an early stage can make a real difference."

As well as running an in store awareness campaign making Cancer Research UK leaflets about spotting cancer early accessible to millions of customers, Tesco aims to raise £10million this year to fund 32 early diagnosis research projects across the UK.

Dr Claire Knight, health information manager at Cancer Research UK said: "Sometimes we need a bit of a nudge to make an appointment with a GP about any unusual or persistent changes to our bodies. And as our survey shows men in particular tend to speak to their other halves first before seeing their doctor.

"Cancer is most common in the over 50s, but men and women of all ages who notice a change that's hung around for a few weeks should get it checked out by a doctor. More than likely it won't be anything to worry about but if it is cancer, spotting it in its earlier stages often makes treatment more successful, meaning the chances of recovering are much better."

Ashley Sheppard, 51, from Worcestershire was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2002 after his wife Alison, 38, encouraged him to go to the doctor. He successfully underwent radiotherapy and surgery and is back at work.

He said: "Before I was diagnosed, I'd seen my doctor as I had some bloating, diarrhoea and constipation and, after a thorough examination, he concluded I had IBS.

"Some months later the symptoms returned, worse than before and I had some bleeding when I went to the toilet.

"I discussed this with my wife Alison who is a nurse and she suggested I go back to the doctor. I was reluctant but after seeing an article in a magazine she was reading about bowel cancer, which listed the symptoms, I decided to take her advice.

"Following tests, I was diagnosed with . I was fortunate that radiotherapy and surgery were successful and in my case they had caught the cancer early.

"Incredibly despite being told the radiotherapy would make me infertile we have gone on to have two more daughters."

Explore further: People admit risking their health by putting off visit to the doctor

More information: To watch the video and find out why you are more likely to survive cancer if it's found at an early stage, visit:

Related Stories

People admit risking their health by putting off visit to the doctor

September 18, 2012
Almost one in three (32 per cent) people in the UK say that, if they had an unusual or persistent change to their body, thinking it would go away in its own time would stop them from visiting their GP according to a new survey ...

Middle-aged hit by surge of potentially fatal skin cancer

July 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 ...

Poor public awareness of bowel cancer

August 23, 2011
Britons have very low awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer – the third most common cancer in the UK and second largest cause of cancer deaths each year, new research shows.

People fear cancer more than other serious illness

August 16, 2011
More than a third of people in the UK fear cancer more than other life-threatening conditions – such as Alzheimer’s, stroke and heart disease according to a Cancer Research UK survey.

Poor people more likely to view cancer as fatal

October 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.

Womb cancer deaths rise by a fifth in the last decade

April 5, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Deaths from womb (uterine) cancer have risen by nearly twenty per cent in the last decade, according to new figures from Cancer Research UK today.

Recommended for you

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

Researchers find a way to 'starve' cancer

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital ...

Researchers develop swallowable test to detect pre-cancerous Barrett's esophagus

January 17, 2018
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have developed a simple, swallowable test for early detection of Barrett's esophagus that offers promise ...

Scientists zoom in to watch DNA code being read

January 17, 2018
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted—revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life.

Presurgical targeted therapy delays relapse of high-risk stage 3 melanoma

January 17, 2018
A pair of targeted therapies given before and after surgery for melanoma produced at least a six-fold increase in time to progression compared to standard-of-care surgery for patients with stage 3 disease, researchers at ...

Dulling cancer therapy's double-edged sword

January 17, 2018
Researchers have discovered that killing cancer cells can actually have the unintended effect of fueling the proliferation of residual, living cancer cells, ultimately leading to aggressive tumor progression.


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.