We’re so excited to mark our public awareness campaign by launching our new Spot Leukaemia video which aims to make the signs and symptoms the most memorable yet!
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 is Spot Leukaemia?
We first launched our Spot Leukaemia campaign back in 2017 with the objective being to raise awareness of the symptoms of leukaemia. Six years on and this has not changed; we are even more passionate about raising awareness of not only the signs and symptoms of leukaemia, but also changing the public perception of leukaemia and who it affects, as 64% of those who are diagnosed with a leukaemia are over 65, yet the public perception is that it is a childhood disease. What we’re doing to help you to Spot Leukaemia?
According to our recent YouGov poll we found that while 88% of the UK public knew leukaemia was a type of cancer not everyone could identify the symptoms of leukaemia, with 31% not being able to name a single symptom. Furthermore, when asked if they would visit their GP if they had any of the symptoms, 28% said they wouldn’t due to putting additional pressure on the NHS. More awareness into leukaemia is greatly needed with 30% of the UK public still thinking leukaemia only affects those under the age of 15 years of age. Shockingly only 4% of the public identified that leukaemia is more prominent in those who are 65-74 years of age.
These recent figures show how much work there is to do in raising awareness of leukaemia and its symptoms, which is why our campaign is so important.
You can find out more about our campaign by visiting www.spotleukaemia.org.uk
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
Collaboration with Leukaemia UK
This year we are making our Spot Leukaemia campaign even bigger by collaborating with a leukaemia research charity, Leukaemia UK.
The collaboration aims to create greater awareness of the symptoms of leukaemia. Unfortunately, there is a perception that leukaemia is an illness of childhood. This is a myth. Leukaemia is the most common cancer in children. However, most people who are diagnosed with leukaemia are over the age of 65. Despite this, raising awareness in everybody over the age of 65 can be challenging, as people’s interests and lifestyle can change dramatically with every passing decade. This year, we decided to target specifically people aged 65 to 75 with our campaign, understanding what is likely to catch their eye and improve their awareness of the signs and symptoms of leukaemia.
Leukaemia Care’s CEO, Zack Pemberton-Whiteley says “We are so excited to be working with Leukaemia UK for our Spot Leukaemia campaign this year. With over 10,000 people being diagnosed every year with a leukaemia, we know how important it is to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms. We can’t reach everyone on our own, and we’re excited by this collaboration as a next step to create a greater impact and reach more people with our Spot Leukaemia message, because early diagnosis saves lives.”
Leukaemia UK’s CEO, Fiona Hazel says “The Spot Leukaemia campaign provides a real opportunity to increase awareness and improve early diagnosis for leukaemia. Collaboration is critical if we are to accelerate progress for those whose lives are impacted by this disease, so we’re delighted to be partnering with Leukaemia Care on this important campaign. Together we can help increase awareness of the signs and symptoms and advocate for positive change. In doing so we want to help the next person diagnosed to have the best possible experience of diagnosis, treatment, and care.”
A part of our collaboration with Leukaemia UK, we are going above and beyond to make the symptoms of leukaemia more memorable, so that people think ‘leukaemia’ when they think of any of the following symptoms.
- Feeling weak or breathless
- Fever or night sweats
- Easily bruising or bleeding
- Pain in bones or joints
- Frequent infections
As part of this plan, we are launching a memorable video showcasing the three most common symptoms of leukaemia (fatigue, bruising or bleeding and repeated infections).
We understand that the video may ruffle some feathers, but in order to make the symptoms memorable and get our awareness campaign to fly, we have had to dive into something we’d never normally do.
You can watch our new memorable symptoms video online at www.spotleukaemia.org.uk
How to get involved
Throughout the month we will be sharing leukaemia stories online, highlighting the various symptoms that patients had before being diagnosed. To help us continue to raise awareness of leukaemia you can:
Contact your elected representative in support of Leukaemia Care’s #SpotLeukaemia campaign
Take action by completing our automated form that will contact your elected representative to ask them to support our campaign.
Sign your name here.
Share your leukaemia story
You can create greater awareness online among friends who are not aware of the symptoms by sharing your leukaemia diagnosis story.
Not online? We are happy to share your story for you, you can email us on communications@ leukaemiacare.org.uk or if you have a family member who is happy to share it online on your behalf, that can also be a great way to spread awareness.
Here is some suggested text to use online:
My name is <name> and when I was <age at diagnosis> I was diagnosed with <type> leukaemia. Before my diagnosis I had the following symptoms <delete as appropriate> fatigue, bruising or bleeding, night sweats, frequent infections, weight loss, feeling weak or breathless. I didn’t know these were signs of a leukaemia, before my diagnosis, which is why you to help me raise awareness of leukaemia. I am asking five people from my friends and family to share this message to raise awareness of leukaemia #SpotLeukaemia.
[Attach a photo to yourself to the post]
Shout about our Spot Leukaemia campaign online
Share our Spot Leukaemia graphics and stories. Join us in sharing information and stories throughout the month. Keep an eye on all our social media platforms and share our stories, videos, infographics and more. You can find all our downloadable resources online via: www.spotleukaemia.org.uk
Take a ‘spotty selfie’
Take a selfie of you wearing spotty items and share on social media alongside the hashtag #SpotLeukaemia and the below text. That way you’ll be helping us to create a memorable way to highlight the symptoms of leukaemia. Not on social media, email it to us at communications@ leukaemiacare.org.uk
Suggested text to use alongside your spotty selfie:
I’m supporting Leukaemia Care’s Spot Leukaemia campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of leukaemia. The symptoms can often be mistaken for other common illnesses which is why this campaign is so important.
Join me in sharing your ‘spotty selfie’!
Become part of our Spot Leukaemia campaign team!
As a Spot Leukaemia volunteer, you’ll be provided with a small supply of our campaign materials, which you will be distributing around your local GPs, Pharmacies, Dentists, and Opticians. It doesn’t matter if you can only give a few hours, or you can give several days, a small amount of help can make a huge difference.
To be part of our campaign volunteering team, you can drop us an email at email@example.com or call 01905 755977.
If you have any further questions about Spot Leukaemia then you can contact our Support team. They are available Monday to Friday from 9:00am – 5:30pm via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01905 755977.