Blood Cancer Awareness Month
September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, and all over the UK people are raising awareness for this common, yet relatively unknown, disease.
Blood cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK; there are currently 230,000 people living with blood cancer. Roughly 1 in 25 people will be diagnosed with blood cancer at some point in their lifetime, yet many of us don’t know the signs and symptoms or how to recognise them.
What is blood cancer?
Blood cancer is an umbrella term that covers more than 137 different strains and disorders. Anyone can get blood cancer at any time in their lives, and because of the individual nature of the disease, not everyone will exhibit all the same symptoms.
Three of the most common kinds of blood cancer are leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Blood cancer is the most common cancer in children in young adults; leukaemia and lymphoma account for about 4 in 10 childhood cancers. In the western world, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is the most common blood cancer affecting adults.
Recognising the symptoms
Knowing and understanding the symptoms of blood cancer can go a long way to making sure people are getting the lifesaving treatment they need – more than 10,000 patients are diagnosed with blood cancers during emergency admissions to the hospital each year because of ignored or misdiagnosed symptoms.
Many of the symptoms of blood cancer are vague and can be easily linked with other, less serious illness, particularly the flu. Common symptoms like persistent fatigue, night sweats and joint pain don’t always prompt a visit to the GP, and without a specific check you can do on yourself as with other types of cancers, some patients ignore symptoms for weeks in hopes they will just go away.
Keeping in mind a simple acronym can help you recognise if you or someone you love is exhibiting symptoms.
T – Tiredness and exhaustion
E – Excessive sweating
S – Sore bones and joints
T – Terrible bruising and unusual bleeding
Although these symptoms don’t always mean blood cancer, recognising the warning signs will go a long way to quicker diagnosis and treatment.
If you’d like to get involved in Blood Cancer Awareness Month, there are a number of different things you can do to help.
- Raise awareness – Download a symptoms card and share it with family and friends to spread the word about blood cancer.
- Donate blood – People diagnosed with blood cancer rely on blood donations to keep them fighting fit. Donating is easy and can save lives – our tips for first time donors guide can help if you’ve never done it before.
- Register as a blood stem cell donor – The charity Delete Blood Cancer is aiming to get 2000 new names on the blood stem cell register this month. It takes just a few minutes and all you have to do is spit into a swab kit they send you in the mail; if you are a match, a simple procedure could save someone’s life.
- Donate to Anthony Nolan – Anthony Nolan is a charity that works to match donors with people who need lifesaving stem cell transplants. If you aren’t eligible for the register or are unable to give blood, donating a small amount to a charity like Anthony Nolan or spreading the word is an excellent way to help the cause.
Have you had any experiences with blood cancer? Share your stories in the comments below.
Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a health related question of your own - about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example - you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have - whenever you need them, 24 hours a day, every day. Please get in touch now.
Click below to submit your question online.
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)
- How to keep your home warm without adjusting the thermostat - November 15, 2019
- Have your say: what’s the best 2019 Christmas Advert? - November 14, 2019
- Watch the best of the 2019 Christmas Adverts - November 14, 2019
- Clever uses for zip ties - November 13, 2019
- Autumn Vegetable Chilli - November 13, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!