Embarrassment is causing millions of British employees to delay getting symptoms checked, according to new research from Bupa.
One in four UK employees (25%) – or 4.7 million people – who have experienced a potential cancer symptom have delayed seeking medical help due to embarrassment about the symptom. Nearly half a million (480,000) have avoided going to the doctor altogether, risking a serious condition going undiagnosed and untreated to save their blushes.
Vaginal bleeding is viewed by UK adults as the most embarrassing symptom to discuss, followed by pain in the pelvis or groin, blood or pain in urinating and bleeding from the bottom.
Research shows that early diagnosis and treatment can have a significant impact in improving health outcomes. However, the “embarrassment factor” is causing people in the UK to delay seeing a health professional for more than two months, on average.
Certain symptoms lead to longer delays, with people suffering from changes in bladder or bowel habits holding off seeking help for an average of almost 10 weeks (68 days). Those experiencing irregular vaginal bleeding would wait for 66 days and those with a lump in the testicle wait for 62 days.