Hemel MP backs campaign to stop delays to blood cancer diagnosis
MP Sir Mike Penning is supporting a campaign to reduce the number of blood cancer patients who experience potentially life-threatening delays to diagnosis.
Sir Mike met with representatives from the blood cancer charity Bloodwise in Parliament, who have launched a new report into the issue.
He said: “A significant number of people in Hemel Hempstead are affected by blood cancers like leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
"Delays to diagnosis can have a huge impact on mental health, treatment options and chances of survival, so it’s vital that urgent action is taken to help save lives.”
The charity’s report highlights NHS data that shows three in 10 people with blood cancer are only diagnosed when their symptoms need emergency treatment.
Bloodwise fears people are dying needlessly because opportunities to pick up blood cancer sooner are being missed.
Just 40 per cent of people with blood cancer live for three years or more if they are diagnosed via emergency admission to hospital, compared to 77 per cent of those diagnosed via a GP referral.
Bloodwise chief executive Gemma Peters said: “It’s fantastic to have Mike Penning MP’s support for our campaign to end the potentially devastating impact of avoidable delays to diagnosis of blood cancer.
“We need to support GPs to better recognise symptoms and a relentless focus from Government on reducing unnecessary appointments and emergency diagnoses.”
Bloodwise’s report ‘Delays Expected’ and a guide to the symptoms of blood cancer are available at www.bloodwise.org.uk
For confidential support and information about blood cancer call the Bloodwise helpline for free on 0808 2080 888.