There are few things more distressing than seeing a woman whose cancer has become incurable because she delayed seeking help due to embarrassment. In the last month, I have met a feisty nonagenarian who had, until recently, been in good health. Not accustomed to seeing doctors, she ignored her symptoms, hoping they would go away. She was forced to seek help when her pain became intolerable. The tragedy is, had I seen her a few months earlier, she would have been cured with a simple operation. Now, her cancer is incurable and all we can offer is symptom relief.