Cancer patients must be proactive

The following is an extract from a longer BBC article found at – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8609739.stm

It is worth including here because we see so many patients coming to Grace Gawler for cancer assistance who are in the ‘end stages’ of their illness. Many have lost valuable time because of the fear of the big ‘C’

Cancer battle is lost if patients fail to act – says Professor Nick Lemoine – Barts Cancer Centre and Institute

Up to 10,000 people a year in England die needlessly from cancer within five years of diagnosis.
Black women, on average, develop breast cancer earlier
In this week’s Scrubbing Up, leading cancer expert Professor Nick Lemoine says the battle against cancer will never be won unless patients are more proactive.
Encouraging patients to face their fears and see their doctor early is vital if figures are to improve, he says.

Our new Barts cancer centre benefits from some of the finest equipment and staff in the world.
We have an experimental cancer medicine centre offering treatments such as stem cell and gene therapies, not yet available elsewhere.

No matter how excellent our facilities, we are fighting a losing battle if people ignore their symptoms, either through ignorance or fear.

Up to 10,000 people a year in England die needlessly from cancer within five years of diagnosis.
A significant number of these deaths are due to patients not presenting earlier with symptoms.

Better diagnosis

Late diagnosis is a particular challenge for Barts and The London NHS Trust, which serves east London including Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived communities in Britain.

We are working with our colleagues in primary care to change attitudes and encourage local people to come forward for screening and early diagnosis of cancer at a stage when it is treated more easily.

We are fighting a losing battle if people ignore their symptoms. To do this we have to dispel myths and preconceptions by showing that the diagnosis of cancer is not necessarily a death sentence.