Don’t die of embarrassment by hiding health concerns

York Press: Don’t die of embarrassment by hiding health concerns Don’t die of embarrassment by hiding health concerns

PEOPLE are placing their lives at risk by putting a brave face on health problems to avoid worrying their loved ones.

A survey carried out by York-based Benenden Health in partnership with charity Beating Bowel Cancer found people in the region could be hiding their concerns.

Over half of those surveyed in Yorkshire and the Humber said they had kept their partner in the dark about health issues because they did not want to worry them, or they thought they can handle it on their own.

About 36 per cent of those surveyed say they didn’t feel they had someone they could talk to about a serious illness. Almost a third had suffered a serious illness and not told their loved ones.

Beating Bowel Cancer said the findings were worrying because keeping silent about health concerns could often delay people from seeking medical advice which could have a huge impact on their chance of survival for conditions such as bowel cancer.

Paul Keenan, head of communications at Benenden Health said: ‘’Putting on a brave face can often be our default mode when we are faced with issues which worry us out of a fear of appearing weak.

“But when this impacts our health and wellbeing, we really need to address our reluctance as a nation to open up about these concerns and seek appropriate help.

“We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about issues that worry us and ask for support.”

Bowel cancer in particular is one of the conditions that is most typically seen as a “taboo” issue to discuss, with many symptoms often seen as embarrassing to those who are suffering from them.

But if it is caught at an early stage, over 93 per cent of people diagnosed with bowel cancer survive for at least five years compared to less than seven per cent of those diagnosed at a later stage.

To raise awareness of bowel cancer and vital funds, the charity has launched its annual Decembeard campaign which asks people to grow, make or fake a beard in December.

Beating Bowel Cancer advises people to go to their GP if they have any of the following symptoms for three weeks or more:

• A change in bowel habit

• Bleeding or blood in your bowel motions

• Pain in your abdomen

• Lump in your abdomen

• Unexplained weight loss

• Unexplained tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness

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