September marks blood cancer awareness month!
Blood cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK. Every 14 minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer or a related disorder, that’s 104 individuals each day!
Despite its commonality, the symptoms of blood cancers are vague and can be difficult to detect. Whilst spontaneous bruising and repetitive infections may be a cause for concern, non-specific symptoms such as tiredness which is common and usually not caused by a serious condition, often results in patients not seeking medical care. This Blood Cancer Awareness month, we are trying to raise awareness, understanding and diagnosis of blood cancers.
Early detection saves lives so learn the symptoms of blood cancer and seek medical care if you want further investigation, remember not everyone will get every symptom of a blood cancer:
Early diagnosis is fundamental for better treatment outcomes so it’s always best to get your symptoms checked if you’re worried. However, do remember that many of the above symptoms can occur in other, much more common and less serious illnesses as well, so don't worry before seeking advice from a medical professional.
What are blood cancers?
These are diseases originating in the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system. They include the subgroups, leukaemia’s, lymphomas and myeloma. See below for a snapshot of these:
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. There are two main types – Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Leukaemia is a cancer of the white blood cells, which are an important part of our immune system, fighting infection. It is named according to the type of white blood cell which is affected and whether it is acute (faster growing) or chronic (slower growing).
Myeloma (also known as multiple myeloma) is a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow.
This September, we can raise awareness of the symptoms of blood cancer. Share this information with friends and together we can contribute to an early diagosis and awareness of blood cancers. For more information on blood cancer and the consultants here at Cancer Centre London click here.
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely for the general information of the reader and is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professionals.