Hope you’re all well and having a great September so far – did you know this month marks Blood Cancer Awareness Month?
Blood cancer is a term that’s used to describe different types of cancer that can affect your blood, bone marrow or lymphatic system. Over 40,000 people are diagnosed with a blood cancer each year in the UK, and over 250,000 people are currently living with blood cancer.
Blood cancer types
There are different types of blood cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN).
Blood cancers can be fast-growing (acute) or chronic (slower growing)
Blood cancer causes
Although we don’t normally know exactly why someone will develop blood cancer, there are things that we know can affect your risk:
- family history
- radiation or chemical exposure
- some health conditions and treatments.
Below are some of the common symptoms of blood cancer…
Blood cancer treatment
Treatments include chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, radiotherapy and stem cell transplants. With some slow growing blood cancers, you may not need treatment straight away and some people never need it.
How you can help
It’s important that you contact your GP if you are experiencing any symptoms – the quicker you get checked out, the better.
People from BAME backgrounds are being urged to sign up as stem cell donors. People with blood cancer sometimes need blood transfusions and there are inequalities for BAME patients who desperately need a match. Donating blood can help combat this and make our community a healthier and positive place. You can find out more here.