By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 26 June 2020
October marks Breast Cancer Awareness month, an event designed to raise awareness of the second most common killer of women in the UK. The initiative aims to bring women together to talk about symptoms openly in order to help increase the survival rates of breast cancer.
Alongside this, ANCON Medical have conducted exclusive research into how women deal with symptoms and the impact this has on survival rates.
The research has shown that around 54% of women in the UK have not visited the doctor in up to five years, despite many respondents citing potentially serious symptoms or a family history of serious illness. Over 2million women in the UK are either currently concerned about symptoms of a serious illness or have a family history of cancer and yet don’t feel they have the time to potentially get diagnosed.
This becomes even more concerning as the research shows that only 48% of women are doing regular recommended checks for cancer, such as checking for breast cancer which is so key to surviving this deadly disease.
Nearly 12,000 women die each year in the UK from breast cancer as the most common form of cancer for women. However, when diagnosed at stage I the five year survival rate is 99% versus just 14% at stage IV. This demonstrates the importance of early diagnosis and proper screening to the survivability of this form of cancer.
Wesley Baker, CEO of ANCON Medical, comments on the research:
“It is hugely disheartening that women are still dying from what can be a very treatable form of cancer. One of the main focuses for survivability is ensuring that cancer does not reach the late stage that requires such novel and innovative treatments and is often so lethal. Catching common and treatable cancers early will be one of the keys to reducing the funding deficit for the NHS in future whilst raising survival rates.
To see that so many women are still neglecting their health and risking a late stage diagnosis, which has been shown to reduce survival rates significantly, is a massive concern. This month, raising awareness of the checks that can be carried out to catch cancer early is a vitally important part of stopping women dying early unnecessarily.”