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Charity: Blood cancer needs to be spotted earlier

A charity has said family doctors need to be able to spot more cases of blood cancer at an earlier stage.

Leukaemia Care said GPs need better knowledge of blood cancers such as leukaemia so they can help diagnose patients when their cancer is at an earlier stage.

More than half of patients with the condition are only diagnosed after they have gone to hospital as an emergency case, the charity said.

This often means that their cancer is at a more advanced stage and can be harder to treat.


Key reasons for leukaemia cure rate improvement

The main reason for the improvements in facing leukaemia is "the development of new treatments, combined with good levels of recruitment to UK clinical trials", according to the research's lead author.

Dr Anjali Shah, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford, added:

These key issues have been effective in curing more people of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

But levels of cure of this disease in England remain lower than those observed in other European countries, such as Sweden.

The reasons for these differences are unknown.

Young are best placed to undergo leukaemia treatment

The brighter outlook for young leukaemia sufferers is because they tend to have types of the disease which are easier to treat with chemotherapy.

Younger people can also generally be given more intense treatment, and the short-term side effects can now be managed effectively.

Around 2,500 people are diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in the UK each year.

The risk of developing it increases with age and it is most common in people over 65 years old.

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