How long do you delay GP treatment?

Tuesday 8th July

One in five cancer patients delay visiting their GP by at least three months after first noticing symptoms - Daily Mail

What’s the problem?
1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer put off visiting their GP when they first noticed their symptoms, according to new research published in the British Journal of Cancer.

What you need to know.
It can be frightening, embarrassing and inconvenient, but if you’ve noticed something out of the ordinary, see your doctor.

The study found that patients with bowel or rectal cancer put off visiting their GP the longest, whereas those with breast cancer symptoms tended to get checked sooner. Whatever symptoms you may have, in whatever part of the body, it’s important to act quickly and visit your GP. They will be able start a course of action to investigate the symptoms and find the cause, which could be cancer or something entirely different. Don’t be embarrassed or think you are wasting a GP’s time - they’d rather you come in for a check up than put it off and worry.

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/cancer-news/press-release/over-a-third-of-cancer-patients-delay-seeing-the-doctor-about-one-of-the-most-worrying-cancer

One in three adults in England 'on cusp' of diabetes - BBC

What’s the problem?
A new study in the British Medical Journal has shown that cases of pre-diabetes have tripled in adults in England. In 2003, 11.6% of adults had the condition; by 2011, that had risen to 35.5%.

What you need to know.
Pre-diabetes is a precursor to diabetes, with between 5% and 10% of people with the condition going on to develop diabetes each year. The percentage may seem low, but since the number of pre-diabetics is growing, this means that the UK is facing an alarming increase in the number of diabetics.

90% of diabetes sufferers have Type 2, which is caused when the body does not produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level in the blood. This can lead to many problems, including damage to nerves, organs and blood vessels. A large part of the problem is that Type 2 diabetes is often caused by an individual’s lifestyle; it is strongly linked with obesity.

Symptoms of diabetes can include feeling very thirsty, urinating frequently, particularly at night, feeling very tired, weight loss and loss of muscle bulk.

To help protect yourself, you can exercise regularly, limit your sugar intake and maintain a balanced, healthy diet.

If you have any concerns about your risk of developing diabetes, visit your GP. The earlier problems are detected, the sooner you and your doctor can take action to manage the condition.

Dementia is 'one of greatest enemies of humanity' - PM - BBC

What’s the problem?
Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to increase funding for dementia research to £66 million by 2015, up from £52 million in 2012/13.

What you need to know.
Around 800,000 people have dementia in the UK today, with that number expected to reach one million by 2021. David Cameron has pledged his government’s commitment to find a cure by 2025 in a move that supports the development of new ways of tackling the disease.

Dementia causes a gradual decline of brain function. There are many different forms of the condition, and the progress of some types can be slowed with medication. Currently only around one in three patients respond to drugs. What’s more, social stigma and difficulty in diagnosis often mean that those in the initial stages don’t get vital treatment early on.

Staying fit and healthy can help reduce your risk of developing dementia - so eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly and not smoking may help. Symptoms include memory loss, particularly of recent events, difficulty with organisation and planning, difficulty with numbers and struggling to find the right words.

If you are worried about dementia - either in yourself or in a relative - do not hesitate to take action. Ring your GP or raise the issue with them - this NHS guide gives advice on how to do this.

This article has been brought to you using public health information freely available online (click on links in the article for more information). benenden health has not provided any direct medical advice within this article. Please consult the sources provided if you would like further information or support.

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