Breast cancer sufferers put lives at risk by delaying GP appointments

14th April 2015: The Guardian reports this week that almost a fifth of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer after spotting a potential symptom wait more than a month before seeing their GP, “jeopardising their chances of effective treatment”.

About 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK each year, and approximately 65% of cases come to light as a result of symptoms. The proportion of women who put off seeing their GP for a month or more was found to be 17%, which equates to an estimated 6,000 women every year in the UK.

The charity also found that almost a third (30%) of the 40 women surveyed who waited over a month to visit their GP believed their symptom wasn’t a serious issue. Most alarming of all, however, was the discovery that one in 20, or about 5%, had waited more than six months before seeing their GP – a delay that potentially puts their lives at risk.

The trend was revealed by a YouGov survey conducted for Breast Cancer Care which polled 409 individuals – 403 of whom were women – between 11 and 16 February.

The Guardian quoted Breast Cancer Care’s chief executive, Samia al Qadhi, as saying: “There have been many awareness raising campaigns around breast cancer symptoms, but our survey suggests that the job still isn’t done. The sooner a cancer is diagnosed, the more effective treatment is likely to be, so it is extremely concerning that some women are waiting more than six months to visit their GP after finding a breast symptom ... Early diagnosis of breast cancer can mean simpler and more effective treatment.”

Gordon Wishart, Professor of Cancer Surgery and Medical Director of Check4Cancer, comments:“Breast cancer has a high profile, with a number of women in the public eye having come forward in recent years to talk openly about their diagnosis and treatment, from Kylie Minogue to Angelina Jolie. We are also better at treating it, which means it has the highest survival rate of all of the common cancers. But despite the widespread awareness of the disease, this survey shows that a proportion of women still either misunderstand symptoms or are frightened to act.

Part of the reason for our success with breast cancer is that the warning signs can be picked up far earlier than other cancers, many of which have no symptoms at all in their early stages. Nothing is more critical to the outcome of cancer treatment than early detection. The work we do at Check4Cancer involves not just screening for common cancers, but also education and raising awareness of cancer symptoms and signs, and this is especially important with regard to breast cancer. Women themselves are the first line of defence when it comes to breast health, being best placed to detect unusual changes in their own bodies. We must work to ensure they have the information and the confidence to take control of their breast health. Doing so will save lives.”


About Check4Cancer

Check4Cancer Ltd. (previously known as International HealthScreen Technologies Ltd) started its existence in Cambridge in 2006 when the two founders Prof Gordon Wishart and Troels Jordansen met. The first BreastHealth UK clinic started at Spire Cambridge Lea in April 2008.

Today Check4Cancer offers 6 innovative different services for early detection of cancer. The services are:

BowelCheck                 BreastCheck                  GynaeCheck       



LungCheck                   ProstateCheck               SkinCheck          

 Above 6 services cover 90% of all new cancer incidence in the United Kingdom every year.

The services are supervised by a Board of Clinical Advisors; please click here for more details. All advisors are nationally renown  experts within each cancer area.

Throughout a network of over 80 clinics across the United Kingdom private individuals and companies can access these services. 2 of the life saving services (BowelCheck and GynaeCheck) requires no clinic but are based on home sampling.

Besides services for early detection of cancer Check4Cancer also operates the largest independent network of genetic counsellors and test. GeneHealth UK [insert link] offers several cancer genetic tests ranging from gold standard BRCA 1&2 tests to innovative cancer panels. Pre-conception testing is being introduced during 2015.

With around 1 out of 2 Britons getting cancer over their lifetime cancer is a very serious issue for individuals and companies. On this background Check4Cancer is proud to be working with some of the leading companies to offer affordable services for early detection of cancer and cancer awareness services. Please click here for a list of such companies.

Check4Cancer is working according to ISO9000 and ISO270000, regulated by CQC, complies with the requirements of the Cyber Essential Scheme, registered with ICO is very proud to have 93% of our clients rating us ‘Very Good’ to ‘Excellent’.

 For more information please contact our Managing Director, Troels Jordansen on 07917130019 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..