Is there a single word, or short phrase that denotes the following concept?

'The longer the problem exists the more severe/distasteful the solution must be'

eg. Because we did not choose to act earlier, we are forced to act now with even greater collateral/consequences than would have been.

  • 5
    A stitch in time saves nine? – WS2 Oct 7 '15 at 8:04
  • Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder. – Nikita Shrivastava Oct 7 '15 at 8:08
  • Hmmm, on target. A little less kids TV, a little more presidential? Still hanging on for a single word. – Colin Steel Oct 7 '15 at 8:08
  • The longer you wait (to handle something), the harder it gets. – Elian Oct 7 '15 at 9:27
  • 1
    I can't think of an answer, but I wonder if it might be found in medical terminology.You'd think practitioners would regularly need to talk about a late diagnosis needing more invasive or dangerous treatment. – JHCL Oct 7 '15 at 9:43

You may use

  • The Sooner The Easier

or more generally:

  • Sounds to 'weak', looking for something that invokes an image of potential dire consequences – Colin Steel Oct 7 '15 at 10:14
  • @ColinSteel How about "don't let it fester"? – michaelsnowden Oct 7 '15 at 22:32


Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies OR Desperate times call for desperate measures - (McGraw-Hill Dictionary Of American idioms and phrasal verbs)

Prov. if you have an insurmountable problem, you must do things you ordinarily would not do in order to solve it, but if you don't tackle this problem right away, it might get worse as time goes by.

  • As a native speaker, I've never heard that first one before. The second one is very common. – Mitch Oct 7 '15 at 13:58

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