Be Blood Cancer Aware

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month and clinicians at NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging Trafford residents to be blood cancer aware by learning the signs and symptoms of the disease in order to seek help early.

The disease, which includes cancers affecting the body’s blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system, affects a huge amount of people in the UK with 70 people diagnosed every day, according to the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Dr Ann Harrison, Trafford GP and Trafford CCG Clinical Cancer Lead, says:

“A lot of people don’t know what the signs and symptoms of blood cancer are – partly because they are vague and can be linked to other, less serious diseases or illnesses, such as flu. Symptoms include persistent fatigue, night sweats, joint pain, bruising and recurrent infections, which don’t always ring alarm bells to prompt people to visit their GP.

Our advice is to please seek medical advice if your symptoms are unexplainable, unusual and persistent – in other words, they have been experienced for more than two weeks or if there is unexplained weight loss. The fatigue experienced is usually disabling and not helped by sleep or resting.”

There are 137 types of blood cancer, the main three being: leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Diana Jupp, Chief Executive of Bloodwise (formerly Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research) says:

“Despite 230,000 people being affected by blood cancer across the UK, it is still a much-misunderstood and little-known disease area. We know that low awareness can lead to late diagnosis and can make it hard for people to find the information and support they need, leading to a greater sense of isolation.”

If you, a family member, or a friend, are struggling with the effects of a cancer diagnosis, illness or treatment please call (0161 746 2080) or drop in to Macmillan Wellbeing Centre based in the grounds of Trafford General Hospital.

The service is open to anyone over the age of 18 who lives in Trafford or has a Trafford GP, for further information please visit: http://www.macmillancentretrafford.org.

For more information about blood cancer specifically, please visit: www.bloodwise.org.uk.