Blood Cancer Awareness month takes place every September.
Every 4 hours a New Zealander is diagnosed with a blood cancer or related condition, that’s the equivalent of around 2,600 New Zealanders a year.
Did you know that in New Zealand, our 5th most common group of cancers affecting all ages – and one of the highest in terms of mortality rates, are cancers of the blood? Leukaemia is also the most common cancer amongst our children, while lymphoma is second most common with our AYA population. Every day 7 New Zealanders are diagnosed with a blood cancer- that’s 1 person every 4 hours.
But while blood cancers in New Zealand are over represented in mortality rates, they are under-diagnosed and the symptoms can be easily missed in the early stages. In a recent survey amongst 437 NZ blood cancer patients, 87% of respondents didn’t know their symptoms were directly related to blood cancer, 9% were unsure and only 4 % knew their symptoms were at all related to blood cancer.
Be aware of what the symptoms of blood cancers are, and if you are at all concerned – visit your doctor or contact a local GP.
Symptoms usually appear as a cluster. For most people these symptoms won’t mean they have a blood cancer, but it’s important you identify what is causing them if they are persistent or seem unexplained.
If you are concerned, contact your local GP to discuss your symptoms.
You can download our LBCNZ blood cancer symptoms PDF poster here
If you would like to learn more about the most common blood cancers, their symptoms and treatment; visit our summary of the diseases
Not currently registered, but would like to discuss your symptoms with a local GP? Use these links below to find a registered doctor near you & enrol today.