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Facts about Leukaemia
- The average number of people diagnosed with leukaemia each year is 10,000 in the UK (source)
- Leukaemia is not a condition which can be caught from someone else (contagious)
- Most forms of leukaemia are more common in older people. The main exception to this is ALL in which peak incidence is in children
- Leukaemias are generally more common in males
- Although leukaemia is not an inherited disease, there is a slightly higher chance that close relatives of patients may develop some forms of leukaemia. The risk is still very small and there is no cause for anxiety or for screening tests
- Symptoms of leukaemia include: Fatigue, feeling weak or breathless, fever or night sweats, bruising or bleeding, repeated infections and bone or joint pain.
- Unfortunately many people aren’t aware of the signs and symptoms of leukaemia until they or someone they know is diagnosed. This means that people often delay visiting a GP, as they do not suspect cancer. Due to the non-specific nature of the symptoms and relative rarity of leukaemia, people may visit a GP several times before diagnosis. Leukaemia Care is seeking to address this through the Spot Leukaemia campaign. This includes raising public awareness of the common symptoms of leukaemia and providing training to primary healthcare professions, including a tailored course for dentists on spotting the signs of leukaemia, such as bleeding gums. (source)
- Before COVID, 37% of leukaemia patients were diagnosed as an emergency presentation, significantly higher than the cancer average of 21%. Emergency diagnosis is associated with a reduced chance of surviving for 1-month or 12-months (source)
Find out more about Leukaemia and some of the main types by clicking here
Since 1950, Leukaemia Care (or The Leukaemia Care Society) has been providing support for blood cancer patients and their loved ones. We are dedicated to ensuring that anyone affected by blood cancer receives the right information, advice and support. We provide verified information, emotional support and financial support for patients and their families. We are also providing training to health care professionals not only to improve the recognition of leukaemia symptoms in patients, but to support better care in the hospitals too.