September marks Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Blood cancer occurs when there is a problem with the development of blood cells which causes them to stop working properly. This can stop your blood doing the things it normally does to keep you healthy, like fighting off infections or helping repair your body.
There are many different types of blood cancers including leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma. Blood cancers can be related to a variety of symptoms and some of the common signs tend to be similar to those of a cold or flu, so it is important to contact your doctor if you experience any of these.
Common symptoms of blood cancer:
Unexplained weight loss
Feeling weak or breathless
Easily bruise or bleed
Frequent and repeated infections
Pain in bones/joints
Swollen stomach or abdominal discomfort
There are also other symptoms that are more characteristic of particular types of blood cancer. For example, swollen lymph nodes can be a sign of lymphomas and bone pain, especially in the back, is the most common sign of myeloma.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your GP as soon as possible for medical advice.