Blood cancer awareness – learning symptoms can save lives

27 August 2019

The survey, carried out by cancer charity Bloodwise, showed that more than half of the people questioned said they didn’t know any of the symptoms at all!

Now as part of Blood Cancer Awareness Month, which runs throughout September, the aim is to get the message out so that more people will seek early treatment.

At Spire Little Aston Hospital, Consultant Haematologist Dr Emmanouil Nikolousis said: “Blood cancer does not describe a single condition, but rather a group of conditions which affect the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system (part of the immune system).

“These diseases are, unfortunately, relatively common so recognising the symptoms early is really important in order to achieve the best outcomes for patients.”

The symptoms for the most common types of blood cancer include:

Leukaemia: Feeling tired or weak, bruising or bleeding easily, swollen lymph nodes (lumps in the neck, armpits, groin, or under the chin), swollen stomach, fever/night sweats, pain in the bones or joints and unexplained weight loss.

Lymphoma: Swollen lymph nodes, fever/night sweats, persistently feeling tired or weak, itchy skin, unexplained weight loss, coughing, difficulty breathing, chest pain, increased alcohol sensitivity or pain in the lymph nodes after drinking. Swelling or feeling pain in the stomach.

Myeloma: Fevers and infections, frequent broken bones, bone pain, weight loss, persistent thirst, frequent urination, nausea, constipation.

“Getting diagnosed early can improve the success of treatment for a number of types of blood cancer. If symptoms cannot be explained and are persistent, people should go to their GP.  

“While it is unlikely to be anything serious, it is important to get it checked out sooner rather than later and a simple blood test can certainly save lives,” said Dr Nikolousis.


The Bloodwise survey involved 2000 people in the UK


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