The Red Flag Symptoms Of Deadly Cancer You Should Never Ignore

Knowing these six key symptoms is crucial.
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Do you know the symptoms of leukaemia? You’re certainly not alone if you don’t.

According to a YouGov poll commissioned by charity Leukaemia Care, almost a third (31%) of people can’t name a single symptom.

Leukaemia is a broad term for cancers of the white blood cells. There are a number of different types, but the four main ones are: chronic myeloid leukaemia, acute myeloid leukaemia, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

According to Cancer Research UK, there are 9,907 new cases of leukaemia and 4,830 deaths from the disease every year. Around four in 10 people diagnosed with it survive for 10 years or more.

Leading charities Leukaemia UK and Leukaemia Care are raising awareness of the symptoms of the disease, as it is often diagnosed too late – meaning the chances of survival are reduced.

Here’s what you need to know.

Red flag symptoms of leukaemia

Leukaemia Care and Leukaemia UK are warning people that the disease can often be hard to spot because the symptoms are seemingly vague and commonly linked to other unrelated illnesses.

In their latest campaign, they ask that people see a doctor if they’re experiencing any of these six symptoms, as “early diagnosis saves lives”:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Fever or night sweats
  4. Bruising or bleeding
  5. Bone/joint pain
  6. Repeated infections

Of course, these symptoms may not be due to leukaemia and could be signs of something else entirely, but given the low survival rate of the illness, it’s always best to check.

Other symptoms to look out for

According to Leukaemia UK, the other signs and symptoms to look for are:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Night sweats
  • Swollen and/or sore stomach
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Numbness in the hands or feet
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sleep issues
  • Headaches
  • Itchy skin

The disease is most common in people aged 75 and over, but can occur at any age so it’s vital that if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you speak to your GP.

More awareness into leukaemia is greatly needed with 30% of the UK public still thinking leukaemia only affects those under 15. Just 4% know that leukaemia is more prominent in those who are 65-74 years of age.