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Four in 10 people don’t see a GP about blood cancer symptoms

Many think their GP won’t take their concerns seriously

Nearly four in 10 UK adults (39%) had at least one symptom that could have been blood cancer in the last year but did not see a doctor, a poll reveals.

The survey from Bloodwise shows 69% of adults believed their symptoms were either trivial or would go away by themselves, while 11% felt that a doctor would not take their concerns seriously.

Of those with symptoms, less than a quarter (23%) went to see their GP within a month and just over one in 10 waited at least six months.

More than 40,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with blood cancer every year. It is the UK’s third biggest cause of cancer deaths and kills more people than either breast or prostate cancers.

Blood cancer symptoms include unexplained bruising or bleeding, unexplained weight loss, lumps or swellings, itchy skin, bone or joint pain and drenching night sweats

Gemma Peters, chief executive of Bloodwise, said blood cancer symptoms can be confused with less serious common conditions, which may lead to them being dismissed or downplayed.

“In most cases, thankfully, the cause won’t be anything serious. However, if any of these symptoms are persistent, unexplained or unusual they should be checked out by a doctor,” she advised.