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30 September 2014 12:55
Many women with symptoms of cervical cancer delay seeking help by months, researchers have found
Experts say more must be done to ensure young women with cervical cancer receive treatment as soon as possible.
Scientists at Queen Mary University of London carried out research among 128 women aged under 30 who had just been diagnosed with the condition.
They found that fewer than one in three went to see a doctor after noticing changes to their body, and of these nearly three in 10 (28%) only did so more than three months after the symptoms first emerged.
Women up to the age of 25 were also found to be more likely to delay seeking help than those aged between 25 and 29.
The researchers said one of the main reasons for patient delay could be that women simply do not recognise that abdominal pain and unusual bleeding or discharge can be signs of cervical cancer.
They might also worry about being examined by a male doctor or about wasting time, the experts said - but warned that delays in seeking help is likely to lead to worse outcomes for patients.
Many people who have just been diagnosed with cancer consider a holiday trip to help take their mind off treatment - and medical insurance for cancer patients will give them peace of mind during their journey.
Writing in the British Journal of General Practice, the researchers called for awareness among young women that their symptoms may be a sign of a serious illness and that they should speak to their GP immediately.
They added that their findings support case reports which suggest that women aged 25 or under often have a more advanced stage of the cancer by the time they seek help because they "delay presentation".
Earlier presentation "could improve outcomes" for these women, the experts concluded.
They said women should be assured that they will be able to be examined by a female doctor if they wish, and that they should not have to worry about wasting doctors' time or feeling embarrassed.
Women should also be more clearly informed about the symptoms of cervical cancer and how to spot them.
27 September 2016
Monarch Airlines says its flights are operating as normal amid fears the firm is in financial trouble.
24 September 2016
Slim people who look physically healthy may still be at increased chance of being diagnosed with bowel cancer if they have raised insulin levels, according new research.
23 September 2016
Theresa May is being urged to give the go-ahead for flights to resume between the UK and Sharm el-Sheikh by the head of the cross-party parliamentary group on Egypt.
22 September 2016
Budget airline Jet2.com is to open its first base in the south of England at Stansted.
21 September 2016
Smoking rates have dropped to the lowest level on record in England, new figures show, suggesting messages about the health effects of cigarettes are hitting home.
20 September 2016
Concerns have been raised over flight disruptions caused by heavy drinking among passengers.
17 September 2016
British Airways' decision to launch direct flights from London to Tehran earlier this month positions Iran as one of the hottest destinations to visit in 2017, according to experts.
16 September 2016
More than 100 flights have been cancelled as French air traffic controllers go on strike again.
15 September 2016
Two thirds of MPs would support an expansion at Heathrow.
14 September 2016
TripAdvisor is launching a new homepage, making the booking of holiday activities and tours even easier.
13 September 2016
Travellers are to be charged to use fast lanes to get through passport checks in an attempt to cut queues.
09 September 2016
People travelling to regions affected by the Zika virus outbreak should practise safe sex for at least half a year upon their return, health leaders say.