A Bournemouth resident is backing a new report released by the All-Party Parliament Group on Blood Cancer that urges GPs to offer blood tests to those who show even just one symptom of blood cancer.
Cancer Victim, Mike Coals was diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoblastic lymphoma last year. The cancer was only discovered after he began suffering nose bleeds and was coughing blood. He was rushed from the doctors surgery to Bournemouth Royal Hospital by ambulance: “I was one of the lucky ones, I was fit and healthy, I’m an alert boy, you think you’re invincible at that age.”
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer recommend in their report ‘The Hidden Cancer‘ that GPs should begin to routinely test for blood cancer amongst patients, including testing for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
Blood cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK but the report says it is often left untreated by GPs as symptoms can be vague. “I had symptoms for a while” says Mike, “but they were easily explained as other things, I thought I was just tired or had the flu.”
According to Cancer Research, only 55% of those with cancer in Bournemouth are diagnosed at an early stage. Early diagnosis of all cancer gives patients a better chance of survival.
The 2018 All Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer report says an estimated 240,000 people live with blood cancer in the UK.
Cancer victim Mike would like to see more people take their health into their own hands: “you never know so it’s always best to get a once over by a professional.”
Hear Mike tell his story:
Interview by Beth Jackson
Other people weren’t as lucky as Mike, the report comes after Sky News Presenter Simon Thomas lost his wife to blood cancer after he said it was missed by doctors three times. Thomas’s wife, Gemma, died aged 40 in November, just three days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a rare form of the disease.
Three times my wife Gemma went to the doctor in six days and three times she was sent home and told to rest. Four days after her final visit to her GP she was dead. We have to help and train our GP's and to detect #bloodcancer earlier. @bloodwise_uk is doing this. #hiddencancer https://t.co/V1uEz1HCLF
— Simon Thomas (@SimonThomasSky) January 17, 2018
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