– Sara Hiom, director of patient engagement and early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK
The research highlights that people in the UK are more worried and embarrassed about seeing their doctor with a symptom that might be serious compared to those in other countries.
Cancer Research UK and others are working hard to understand and address these potential barriers to early presentation and encourage people to tell their doctor if they have noticed something different about their body.
More work also needs to be done to tackle the poor awareness that cancer risk increases with age
A study of differences in cancer survival between the UK and other high-income countries found:
- For lung, breast, bowel and ovarian cancers diagnosed between 1995 and 2007, Australia, Canada, Sweden and Norway had the best survival rates.
- Denmark and the UK had the lowest, despite all the countries having similarly good cancer registration systems and access to health care.
- One year survival for people with lung cancer was 30% in the UK compared with 44% in Sweden.
Researchers surveyed 19,079 men and women aged 50 and older.
British stoicism could be putting people in mortal danger from cancer, a study of differences in cancer survival between the UK and other high-income countries.
– Dr Lindsay Forbes, from King's College London
The UK stood out in this study. A high proportion of people said that not wanting to waste the doctor's time and embarrassment might stop them going to the doctor with a symptom that might be serious.
The traditional British 'stiff upper lip' could be preventing people from seeing their doctor.
The UK's 'stiff upper lip' could be putting Britons in increased danger from cancer, according to researchers.
A study by international experts suggests that British stoicism may help explain differences in cancer survival between the UK and other high-income countries.
People in Britain were said to be more likely than others to avoid bothering their doctor over symptoms they find embarrassing and time-wasting.
As a result, cancer sufferers were less likely to be treated at an early stage when there is a greater chance of a cure.