1-in-4 delay seeing their GP, Bowel Cancer charity survey discovers

One-in-four people would delay going to see their GP if they suspected bowel cancer, a shock survey by medical researchers in London’s East End has found.

The study also found that a fifth of the population were “too embarrassed” to even talk about bowel habits which could save their life.

The figures are revealed in a survey of 50,000 households in east London, the Midlands and Yorkshire by the Bowel & Cancer Research charity.

The public remains largely unaware that obesity and lack of exercise contribute to the disease, it warned.

“Good health messages are not getting through that could help prevent the disease in the first place,” the charity’s chief Deborah Gilbert said.

“New evidence suggests being overweight and lack of exercise are major risks in developing bowel cancer. So it makes sense to keep fit.

“But our survey suggests too many people aren’t making that link.”

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Four-out-of-10 people questioned didn’t eat fibre every day or do regular weekly exercise, according to the charity’s national research centre in Whitechapel.

The survey, however, showed 79 per cent were aware of the main symptoms of Britain’s second-biggest cancer killer, which leads to a death every half-hour.