Promote early diagnosis

14 Aug 2015

Earlier diagnosis is needed so that fewer patients are diagnosed through emergency routes - over 50% of patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) are being diagnosed in an emergency setting.

Many patients have told us that they feel there’s a low awareness of blood cancer at primary care level. Only 64% of patients with blood cancer saw their GP twice or fewer before being referred. This is in comparison to 75% for all cancers, and 92% for breast cancer.

The evidence has identified that just five conditions, when combined, account for nearly 70% of all lives lost at five years from diagnosis:

  • myeloma
  • diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
  • myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
  • chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

The impact of these conditions is even larger if we include the related pre-malignant conditions that account for nearly 17% of deaths. More needs to be done to target those blood cancers that contribute to the majority of early deaths across all blood cancers and increase understanding of pre-malignant conditions as a means to prevent progression to more serious diseases.