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One in 10 adults would not seek advice about possible symptoms of cancer

The Bloodwise logo. Bloodwise appears in black text against a white background
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22 Sep 2016

A Bloodwise survey finds that around one in 10 people would not seek advice about night sweats or fatigue.

Around one in 10 UK adults would not seek advice about possible symptoms of cancer, according to new Bloodwise research.

In an Ipsos Mori online survey of 2,249 people aged 16–75 in the UK, 11% said they would not seek advice if they were experiencing fatigue, 9% would not seek advice for night sweats, while 7% would not seek advice for back pain.

Yet these symptoms are all potential signs of blood cancer, which is diagnosed in more than 38,000 people each year and kills more people than either breast or prostate cancer.

The survey, commissioned by Bloodwise to mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month, highlights the urgent need to raise public awareness of blood cancer.

Samantha Farr, 25, from Wolverhampton, was eventually diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in December 2013 after continuously ignoring her symptoms of fatigue, night sweats and weight loss.

She says: “I was 23 when I was diagnosed and was under a lot of stress at work doing long shifts during the Christmas season. I hadn’t felt right for about a month and was always tired, but never thought anything of it and put it down to working so much. At night I was hardly sleeping as I was having night sweats and itching a lot. I finally had a day off from work and mum urged me to go to the doctors. If it were up to me I wouldn’t have gone.”

After further tests, Sam was diagnosed with blood cancer and underwent chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

Currently doing well, she adds: “If my mum didn’t work in the health profession and have an inkling that something wasn’t quite right I would have continued to ignore what were, in fact, the tell-tale signs of blood cancer.”

Diana Jupp, Director of Patient Services at Bloodwise, says: “We often hear stories from patients telling us that they didn’t recognise the symptoms of blood cancer.  However, blood cancer is the fifth most common type of cancer, claiming more than 14,000 lives every year in the UK.

“We urge anyone experiencing unexplained and persistent symptoms such as fatigue, back pain and night sweats to book an appointment with their GP. It is unlikely to be anything serious but it is important for it to be checked out.”

Notes 

For further information, please contact the Bloodwise Press Office on 020 7269 9019, press mobile 07824 375880, or email: press@bloodwise.org.uk

Technical note

The survey was conducted using Ipsos MORI’s online i:Omnibus service among a representative quota sample of 2,249 adults aged 16-75 in the United Kingdom between 22nd and 26th July 2016. Survey data were weighted by age, gender, region, working status and social grade to the known offline population profile of this audience.