About Blood Cancer

  • Fact – There are over 130 different types of blood cancer and anyone can be affected regardless of age, gender and ethnicity.
  • Fact – In the UK alone, someone is diagnosed every 14 minutes with a potentially life threatening blood cancer.
  • Fact – Leukaemia is the most common form of cancer in children, although 94% of people diagnosed with leukaemia are adults.

Cure rates vary widely across the different forms of blood cancer but thanks to improvements in research today over 90% of children with leukaemia are cured.

What are the symptoms of blood cancer?

Symptoms of the most common forms of blood cancer may include the following:


Leukaemia (cancer of the white blood cells. It is named according to the type of white blood cell which is affected and whether it is acute (faster growing) or chronic (slower growing).

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Easily bruise or bleed
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Swollen stomach
  • Infections
  • Fever/night sweats
  • Pain in bones/joints


Lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system. There are two main types – Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma)

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever/night sweats
  • Feeling tired/weak
  • Itchy skin
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Coughing/breathing difficulty/chest pain
  • Increased alcohol sensitivity or feeling pain in the lymph nodes after drinking (Hodgkin lymphoma)
  • Swelling or feeling pain or fullness in the stomach (non-Hodgkin lymphoma)


Myeloma (cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell)

  • Weight loss
  • Fevers and infections
  • Frequent broken bones, often in the back
  • Bone pain (ribs/back)
  • Thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea/constipation