Many cancers are not diagnosed in their early stages. In some cases, it may be due to there being another explanation for the symptoms experienced.
Another reason why there may be a late diagnosis of cancer is that in some cases there may have been no symptoms in the earlier stages of the disease. It is often only after the cancer has spread into other organs or lymph nodes that the doctor is contacted.
There are more than 200 different types of cancer. Some are rarer and therefore they are not picked up sooner. At the time of diagnosis, some cancers are aggressive and therefore it may not have made any difference to the outcome even if diagnosed sooner.
The good news is that for those who are diagnosed sooner, many cancers, due to the advances in treatment, result in longer survival rates.