17 January 2018
GPs are being urged to offer more blood tests to patients to spot blood cancer in a new report The ‘Hidden’ Cancer – The need to improve blood cancer care launched by a group of influential MPs.
The report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer is the first of its kind. The group is chaired by Henry Smith MP, who lost his mother to acute myeloid leukaemia in 2012.
The findings recommend that GPs should immediately request a blood test for anyone presenting symptoms of blood cancer. Often patients could have symptoms such as; fatigue, night sweats, weight loss or bruising, which can be mistaken for less serious conditions such as being run down or flu.
Often patients are having to visit their GP significantly more times than other cancer patients and the delay in diagnosis can impact the patient’s chance of survival and quality of life.
The need for better education
The report also identifies an urgent need for better education and training for doctors and medical students to help them spot blood cancer.
Following the new findings the group want to call on the Government and NHS England to urgently address the specific needs of blood cancer patients and ask that immediate steps are taken to improve their care.
DKMS welcomes the findings
Stephan Schumacher, DKMS acting CEO said: “We welcome the findings from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer report. Many of the people that we work with to find their potential blood stem cell donors are too often mis-diagnosed.
“This causes a delay in identifying their correct diagnosis and finding the best therapy or treatment which can have a huge impact on the patient and their family. There is a greater need for awareness around blood cancer and the issues surrounding this and the report helps to identify some of the more pressing issues.”
How you can help
Register as a potential blood stem cell donor and request your home swab kit to complete your registration today. Anyone aged between 17-55 and in general good health can go on standby to save a life.