ONE in three people who get a blood cancer diagnosis only do so when it has become an emergency.

The majority of these people will die within three years and Ludlow MP and former Health Minister Philip Dunne wants something done about it.

He is supporting a campaign to reduce the number of blood cancer patients who experience potentially life-threatening delays to diagnosis. Mr Dunne met representatives from the blood cancer charity Bloodwise in Parliament, who have launched a new report into the issue.

“A significant number of people in Ludlow are affected by blood cancers like leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma,” said Mr Dunne.

“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 Bloodwise report highlights NHS data that shows three in ten people with blood cancer are only diagnosed when their symptoms need emergency treatment.

The charity fears this shows 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.

Blood cancer is the third biggest cause of cancer deaths in the UK. Bloodwise is calling for GPs to get greater support to recognise blood cancer symptoms. The charity also wants them to refer patients with vague, unexplained symptoms for specialist tests so that fewer people with blood cancer slip through the net and end up needing emergency medical care.

Bloodwise’s report ‘Delays Expected’ and a guide to the symptoms of blood cancer are available at For confidential support about blood cancer call the Bloodwise helpline for free on 0808 2080 888.