What is blood cancer?

26 Aug 2016

Find out what blood cancer is and what the signs and symptoms are.

What is blood cancer?

Blood cancer happens when something goes wrong with the development of your blood cells. This stops your blood doing the things it normally does to keep you healthy, like fighting off infections.

The three main groups when it comes to blood cancer are leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, but there are more than 100 different types of blood cancer in total. 

Anyone can get blood cancer, at any point in their lives. 

Most people who are diagnosed are over 50, but it’s also the most common type of cancer in children and young adults

Find out more about blood cancer and why it happens >

Signs and symptoms of blood cancer

Blood cancer symptoms are often missed because they can be quite similar to common illnesses such as colds and flu.  

Tiredness, night sweats, bruising, headaches, sickness and a high temperature are all symptoms of blood cancer that might be passed off as a bug.  

Because of this, it's important to talk to your GP if you have symptoms, or groups of symptoms, which you think are very unusual for you, or last for longer than normal.

Anna, blood cancer patient
“I'd been feeling ill with flu like symptoms… I knew something wasn’t right but I thought I’d got a virus or something.”

Read Anna’s story >


Find out more about the signs and symptoms of blood cancer >