Half of adults fail to spot signs of blood cancer as experts warn some symptoms can be mistake for Covid
More than half of adults cannot name any signs of blood cancer, according to a new survey. And a charity has warned some of the symptoms could actually be mistaken for Covid.
The Blood Cancer UK charity said the lack of public awareness of the condition is ‘extremely worrying’.
It said that symptoms can be varied and often very vague and include persistent and unexplained tiredness, unexplained weight loss and bone pain.
A poll of 2,035 Britons carried out by Blood Cancer UK found that 56 per cent did not know any symptoms of blood cancer. (Stock image)
A poll of 2,035 Britons found that 56 per cent said they did not know any symptoms of blood cancer.
Kate Keightley, head of support services at the charity, urged anyone who believes they have persistent symptoms that cannot be explained to ‘urgently’ make a GP appointment.
More than 40,000 are diagnosed with blood cancer each year in Britain with over 250,000 currently living with the disease. Around 15,000 people die from various forms of blood cancer each year.
The findings, which come a day ahead of the beginning of Blood Cancer Awareness Month, showed that just 1 per cent of those recently polled correctly identified having a fever as a sign of the disease.
The charity said the lack of public awareness of the condition is ‘extremely worrying’. (Stock image)
Breathlessness was a symptom identified by just 3 per cent, prompting concerns from the charity that this sign, as well as fever and tiredness, could be confused with Covid-19 symptoms and left undiagnosed.
The organisation said awareness of other symptoms had remained similar to 2018 levels.
Ms Keightley said: ‘Sadly, symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss and night sweats can sometimes be dismissed or downplayed and the result can be devastating.
‘During the height of the pandemic, we saw far fewer people being diagnosed with blood cancer, and one of the reasons for this could be that some of the symptoms of blood cancer are easily mistaken for Covid.
‘It’s extremely worrying that public awareness that these could be signs of blood cancer continues to be so low.’