1.2 Million People Are Diagnosed With This Cancer Annually – Here's The Signs You Need To Know

The main cancers of the blood are leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma but there are actually 100 different types of blood cancers and every year, 1.2 million people are diagnosed with blood cancer with 650,000 people dying worldwide annually from it. 

Blood cancers are so prevalent in fact that in the UK alone, every 20 minutes somebody is diagnosed with a blood cancer and more than 7,500 children in the UK suffer from a blood cancer. 

Blood cancers are the third most common cancer death in the UK and while these statistics are frightening, there is a lot of promising research and work being done to tackle the diseases.

Blood Stem Cell Donations 

DKMS, an international charity dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders, have been working hard to tackle these deadly cancers and so far, more than 105,000 “second chances at life” have been enabled by the charity and the blood stem cell donations that they facilitate. 

While this is incredible, there is an urgent need for more blood stem cell donations in the UK. Despite blood cancers being so prevalent, only around 3% of the UK population is registered to be potential stem cell donors.

Luke Bugdol, a donor to DKMS said: 

“I was inspired to register to DKMS after I left the navy, when a friend of mine had cancer. Unfortunately, they did not make it - and he’s not the first person in my life that I have lost to cancer… Two years later, I received a telephone call saying I was a match to somebody in need and I immediately wanted to help. I instantly felt great knowing I had helped a total stranger.”

Signs Of Blood Cancer 

If you’re worried you may have a blood cancer, Blood Cancer UK state that the symptoms to look out for are:

  • Weight loss that is unexplained

  • Bruising or bleeding that is unexplained

  • Lumps or swellings

  • Shortness of breath (breathlessness)

  • Drenching night sweats

  • Infections that are persistent, recurrent or severe

  • Fever (38°C or above) that is unexplained

  • Rash or itchy skin that is unexplained

  • Pain in your bones, joints or abdomen (stomach area)

  • Tiredness that doesn’t improve with rest or sleep (fatigue)

  • Paleness (pallor)

If you’re looking to register as a blood stem cell donor, visit the DKMS website.