Tara Parker-Pope discusses a Tower Cancer Research Foundation survey of 500 cancer survivors that showed more than half of them delaying treatment for two months or more after having symptoms. Fifteen percent delayed treatment for one to five years.
Some delayed treatment because of lack of medical insurance, or insufficiency of coverage.
But others had emotional reasons for the delay: a third of them put it down to procrastination, and the most commonly cited reason was that they were hoping the symptoms would just go away. Fear also played a role. Many patients simply did not want to be told the worst. These feelings are obviously natural, but acting on them can prevent the early diagnosis and treatment that saves the lives of so many cancer patients.