Star opinion: Cancer symptoms not be ignored

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Sheffield’s leading cancer GP is warning people, particularly the elderly, not to ignore signs of ill health.

Dr Anthony Gore, the NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group’s clinical lead for cancer, is also urging the public to take up the opportunity of screening tests.

A quarter of Sheffield people do not take up screening tests for cancer, or know any symptoms of the disease.

One in four people in the city do not access screenings for bowel, breast and cervical cancer they are entitled to.

And 21 per cent of people could not name any cancer warning signs, such as changes in bowel habits, a lump or growing moles, according to a survey of more than 3,000 residents.

It is worrying that people are, on the one hand, ignoring signs which could be potentially life-threatening, yet on the other hand we’re constantly told that some are rushing off to accident and emergency with minor injuries.

Is it a lack of education or are people scared of finding out that something is seriously wrong?

Whatever the answer is Dr Gore needs to be listened to. Cancer is a horrible disease but one that can be treated far more effectively if caught early. Everyone should be educated about its symptoms.