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Over half of UK adults unable to name single blood cancer symptom – poll

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ore than half of UK adults cannot name a single symptom of blood cancer despite it being the third biggest cancer killer in the UK, according to a new study.

The YouGov poll, conducted for Blood Cancer UK, found that 55 per cent of Britons were not aware of any common signs of the disease, which claims the lives of around 16,000 people every year.

The survey of 2,200 UK adults was commissioned by the charity to mark the beginning of Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September.

Of those polled, a quarter (25 per cent) said they would be unlikely to consult a GP if they had any of the main symptoms associated with the disease – fatigue, swollen lymph nodes or night sweats.

Asked to list up to 10 types of cancer they were aware of, leukaemia and blood cancer were the 12th and 13th most commonly named in the survey.

Just 1 per cent of those surveyed said that blood cancer was their greatest concern, despite figures showing that one in 19 people will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives.

Kate Keightley, head of support services at Blood Cancer UK, said: “Blood cancer is the fifth most common type of cancer in the UK so it’s extremely concerning to continue to see such low public awareness of the symptoms.

“Sadly, symptoms such as night sweats and unexplained tiredness, weight loss and bruising can sometimes be dismissed or downplayed, with devastating results.

“We fear many people might also be confusing breathlessness, a fever and tiredness with Covid-19 and cases are being left undiagnosed.

“At the moment, we know that too many people are being diagnosed late, which often reduces the chance of survival, so it is so vital people get symptoms checked out as soon as possible.

“If you have symptoms that cannot be explained and are persistent, you should urgently make an appointment with your GP.”

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