Each year we reach millions of people with our spot leukaemia campaign but despite our efforts, awareness of blood cancer amongst the public, as well as in primary healthcare, is still dangerously low and blood cancer continues to claim more lives than prostate or breast cancer every year.
Currently, patients with leukaemia have a significantly higher rate of emergency diagnosis than other forms of cancer. The highest emergency presentation rates for any cancer type occur in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), at 66% of patients. This is a huge difference when compared with the overall cancer emergency presentation percentage (21%).
Unfortunately many people aren’t aware of the signs and symptoms of leukaemia until they or someone they know is diagnosed. This leads to a delay in visiting a GP, which can delay a diagnosis, worsening the outcomes for patients.
Quite often, due to the non-specific nature of the symptoms and relative rarity of leukaemia, people are misdiagnosed by their GP or attend several times before diagnosis. This means that there is a delay at primary healthcare.
We need your help in reaching the general public so that everyone is able to Spot Leukaemia sooner.
Early diagnosis saves lives
What we’re doing to help you to Spot Leukaemia?
Last year, our Spot Leukaemia campaign reached over 100 million people, and this year we want to reach even more, so that there is a greater awareness of the clusters of symptoms that could indicate a blood cancer.
This September, we plan to:
- Raise awareness online and within the media of the signs and symptoms of leukaemia, educating the public so they know what to look out for.
- Share leukaemia stories so that blood cancer patients can connect to someone who is going through the same journey as them and the public can gain a better understanding of leukaemia, how it presents and who it affects.
Read some amazing stories here.
- Raise awareness across the world – World Leukemia Day 2021 is launching on 4th September. By getting people from all over the world to participate in sharing on social media we plan to raise awareness of leukaemia in everyone. Use the hashtags #WLD21 #worldleukemiaday to start raising awareness!
World Leukemia Day will also see buildings across the UK light up red to help shine a ‘spot’ light on Leukaemia. If you see any of the buildings lit up, don’t forget to post your photos on social media using the hashtag #SpotLeukaemia.
You can also write to your local landmarks asking them to light up red on behalf of Leukaemia Care for World Leukaemia Day on September 4th. We have a template you can use, available here.
- Collaborate with other amazing charities! This September, we’re teaming up with Bloody Good Period and The Eve Appeal to raise awareness of the relationship between the menstrual cycle and symptoms of cancer. We’ll be co-hosting a webinar on the 21st of September to bring you a panel of menstrual experts, healthcare professionals, and patients with lived experience to talk about all things taboo. We hope to encourage conversations about menstruation and equip individuals who menstruate to recognise changes and when they should see a GP. We want every individual to know their normal and to get abnormal bleeding checked!
Join us in our conversation and use the #SpotLeukaemia
We’ll also be doing a social media takeover on Opaal’s Facebook page: @OpaalTogether. Opaal will be sharing patient stories from the 65+ community, and we’ll be helping Opaal’s audience recognise the signs and symptoms of leukaemia most common in individuals aged over 65.
Head over to Opaal’s Facebook page from the 1st to the 8th of September to see our spotty content!
Spot the signs and symptoms of leukaemia
Leukaemia can be hard to spot because the signs and symptoms are common to other unrelated illnesses. Knowing what to look out for could help you make the decision to visit your GP sooner. Early diagnosis saves lives.
The six most common symptoms experienced by all leukaemia patients prior to diagnosis. These are:
- Shortness of breath
- Fever or night sweats
- Bruising or bleeding
- Bone/joint pain
- Repeated infections
How can you get involved with our Spot Leukaemia campaign?
1. Support the campaign on social media!
- Post on social media about our campaign, share our resources or share stories with the hashtag #SpotLeukaemia. Help raise awareness of the symptoms of leukemia by using our social media graphics and sharing these across your social media platforms.
- Spot the Difference: Share your own before and after images for #SpotTheDifference. We want the public to know that you can look both ill and healthy at the time of a leukaemia diagnosis. That’s why it’s even more important to look out for the symptoms!
- Share your Spotty Selfie to show your support in September. If you send us your selfie before World Leukaemia Day, you’ll be included in our World Leukaemia Day collage!
- Anything you share on social media with the hashtags #SpotLeukaemia and #WorldLeukemiaDay will be shown on our live social media walls! Head over to our website during the month of September to see them.
- Use our Instagram GIFs: a personalised spotty gif for your Instagram stories.
- Use our Facebook frames: a personalised spotty frame for your profile picture!
2. Put on your spotty clothes to share the importance of knowing how to ‘spot’ the signs and symptoms of leukemia. Share your ‘spotty selfie’ on social media with the hashtag #spotleukaemia during blood cancer awareness month this September.
3. Take part in World Leukemia Day on the 4th September on social media with the hashtags #WLD21 #worldleukemiaday, Help raise awareness of the symptoms of leukaemia by using our social media graphics and sharing these across your social media platforms. Download the World Leukemia Day resources here.
4. We’re launching a spotty challenge on the 1st of September to get YOU involved in Spot Leukaemia. There are many prizes to be won and different levels to complete, so you can choose to participate as little or as much as you want and still get a prize. However, the individual who does the most creative and boldest thing to raise awareness for Spot Leukaemia will win the biggest spotty surprise! Help us to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of leukaemia. You can choose to be a Spotty Sidekick, Spotty Star, or Spotty Superhero! Look at the graphic below to see what challenges you have to complete to win our special spotty prizes!
Find out more about World Leukemia Day here.
You can download all our resources here.
If you have any further questions about Spot Leukaemia then you can contact our Campaigns and Advocacy team. They are available Monday to Friday from 9:00am – 5:30pm. If you would like to speak to them, you can send them an email at email@example.com