Every 13 minutes in the UK someone is told that they have blood cancer. i.e. 110 people every day, or 40,000 people in a year1.
But the disease is extremely difficult to diagnose and many people still do not know the symptoms.2.
With other forms of cancer, the signs may be more pronounced. For example, a lump or swelling may increase the risk of breast cancer.3.
But blood cancers are harder to detect, and as a result, they are more likely to be diagnosed later than4.
Some of the more common symptoms can be vague and are often described as a feeling of ‘run down’ or having the flu5.
They can include unexplained weight loss, bruising or bleeding, shortness of breath or lumps and swelling. Night sweats, fever, joint and bone pain, and fatigue can also be telltale signs of illness.6. Although these symptoms do not always indicate a diagnosis of blood cancer, it is important to see your doctor if you notice any symptoms.
Due to the COVID pandemic, experts are expecting to see an increase in the number of patients who are diagnosed with cancer late or in an emergency7.
This may mean that treatment options are more limited due to the advanced stage of the disease, resulting in poorer quality of life and prognosis. It can cause physical and mental harm to people with the disease, as well as to their family and friends.8.
Blood cancer – which includes three main types, myeloma, lymphoma and leukemia – is third biggest cancer killer The fifth most common cancer in the UK and overall9.
but one Bloodwise’s 2018 survey of over 2,000 British adults found that only 1 percent of people said they were “very confident” that they could identify common symptoms of blood cancer, with a significant portion of the population not knowing any symptoms.10.
The survey found that more than eight in ten people (84 percent) admitted that they were either “not very” or “not at all” confident in recognizing symptoms of illness.1 1.
To mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month during September, the Make Blood Cancer Visible campaign aims to alert people to the symptoms of the disease – and the importance of talking to their GP or nurse.
The list of symptoms above is not exhaustive, and it is also important to remember that not everyone will experience each symptom, or the same symptoms, in the same way.
Still, it’s important to make sure you’re familiar with the symptoms of blood cancer, so that you’re in a position to seek medical advice if you notice any symptoms.
The facility is funded by Janssen UK as part of the Make Blood Cancer Visible campaign. For more information visit www.makebloodcancervisible.co.uk.
Date of Preparation: September 2021. Job Code: CP-253013
1Anthony Nolan. What is blood cancer? Available at https://www.anthonynolan.org/patients-and-families/blood-cancers-and-blood-disorders/what-blood-cancer. Last accessed: August 2021
2YouGov (2020) Blood Cancer Awareness Survey. data on file. Last accessed: August 2021
3NHS breast cancer symptoms. Available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms. Last accessed: August 2021
4Bloodwise (2019) n and the delay campaign report. Available at https://media.bloodcancer.org.uk/documents/bloodwise-delayed-diagnosis-report_RIQgdp7.pdf. Last accessed: August 2021
5Blood Cancer UK (2018). ‘Hidden’ cancer. Available at: https://media.bloodcancer.org.uk/documents/bloodwise-appg-report-hidden-cancer.pdf. Last accessed: August 2021
6connect the dots. Available at https://www.makebloodcancervisible.co.uk/image/AA6931_Connect_the_dots_infographic_2020_approved.pdf. Last accessed August 2021.
7The Lancet (2020) Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer deaths due to delayed diagnosis in England, UK: a national, population-based, modeling study. Available at https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(20)30388-0/fulltext Last seen: August 2021
8BMJ (2020) Mortality due to delayed cancer treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis. Available at https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4087 Last seen: August 2021
9Blood Cancer UK. Facts and information about blood cancer. Available at https://bloodcancer.org.uk/news/blood-cancer-facts/. Last accessed August 2021.
10Bloodwise Survey (2018) Available at: https://bloodcancer.org.uk/news/over-half-of-brits-dont-know-symptoms-of-blood-cancer/ Last viewed: August 2021
1 1Bloodwise Survey (2018) Available at: https://bloodcancer.org.uk/news/over-half-of-brits-dont-know-symptoms-of-blood-cancer/ Last viewed: August 2021
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /