The findings of a new study published show that none of those surveyed in Yorkshire and the Humber was able to identify all four of the most commonly reported symptoms of leukaemia. These are fatigue, bruising, unusual bleeding, and repeated infections.
Leukaemia is a type of blood cancer that affects people of all ages. In the UK, 28 people are diagnosed with leukaemia every day – that’s more than 10,000 cases each year. One of the most deadly forms of cancer, leukaemia has an overall survival rate of just over 50%.
While early diagnosis could save lives, the recent survey by Leukaemia UK and Leukaemia Care found that almost half of Yorkshire and Humber respondents (47%) were not able to identify any of the four most common symptoms of the disease, which kills 5,000 people every year in the UK and is often misdiagnosed.
In September, Blood Cancer Awareness Month, the two charities will collaborate on the #SpotLeukaemia campaign. Cancer of the blood is the third most deadly.
Leukaemia Care and Leukaemia UK have produced a video featuring Henry. He is a talented Macaw parrot and highlights the symptoms of leukaemia. Henry uses a variety of objects in the ad to create a catchy rap about the symptoms of leukaemia.
Leukaemia Awareness Is Low In Yorkshire And Humber
Zack Pemberton-Whiteley, Chief Executive of Leukaemia Care said;
“To hear that less than 1% of the UK public are able to identify the four most common symptoms of leukaemia is extremely worrying.”
“Early diagnosis of leukaemia can improve survival. With over 10,000 people being diagnosed every year with leukaemia. This shows just how important it is to continue to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms and how much work needs to be done.”
“We know that our new Spot Leukaemia video may ruffle some feathers but in order to raise awareness we needed to create something that will fly.”
“It’s crucial that if you think you have fatigue, bruising or bleeding or repeated infections that you contact your GP and ask for a blood test. It’s as simple as that and we will continue to parrot on about it.”
Across Yorkshire and the Humber, only 8% of respondents recognised repeated infections as a symptom, only 26% referred to unusual bruising as a symptom, and only 10% referred to unusual bleeding as a symptom.
The majority of respondents were unaware that fatigue was a symptom – which is often the first symptom to be noticed by those diagnosed with leukaemia.
According to 43% of respondents, leukaemia most commonly affects people under 24 years of age.
Despite being the most common type of childhood cancer, leukaemia incidence rates rise sharply after the age of 55, with 38% of new diagnoses occurring in those over 75. Only 2% of Brits think leukaemia is more common among old people.
The Spot Leukaemia campaign specifically targets people over 65, as they are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease.
The campaign video can be viewed at www.spotleukaemia.org.uk