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Less than a third of the UK are aware of blood cancer

UNAWARE: Less than a third of the UK are aware of blood cancer

AROUND A third (32%) of the British public know that lymphoma and / or myeloma are common types of blood cancers - with some mistakenly thinking that melanoma (16%) and haemophilia (11%) are blood cancer types.1

Furthermore, over one in three (38%) blood cancer patients admit that they had never heard of their specific type of cancer before diagnosis. These are the results of two surveys announced today to coincide with the launch of Make Blood Cancer Visible - a campaign that sees Janssen and nine blood cancer patient support groups join forces for the first time, to bring much-needed attention to blood cancer across the UK during September, blood cancer awareness month.

According to the Make Blood Cancer Visible public survey implemented by YouGov and funded by Janssen, only one in ten people (10%, N=2,044) are aware that there are over 100 different types of blood cancers,1 and only 12% of people selected blood cancer as one of the top five most commonly diagnosed types of cancer.1

Worryingly, 30% incorrectly thought that vomiting, nausea, double vision and / or headaches were the most common warning signs of blood cancer.1 Similarly, the Leukaemia CARE patient survey, reveals that before diagnosis, a staggering 80% of those surveyed (n=1,199) did not think their symptoms would turn out to be blood cancer.2 In addition, 38% admitted that they had never heard of their specific type of blood cancer before their diagnosis, and knew nothing about it.2

Diana Jupp, Chief Executive, Bloodwise said, “Despite 230,000 people being affected by blood cancer across the UK,3 it is still a much-misunderstood and little-known disease area. We know that low awareness can lead to late diagnosis and can make it hard for people to find the information and support they need, leading to a greater sense of isolation."

"We are therefore delighted to be a part of this exciting campaign helping to raise awareness of blood cancer throughout this September and it’s great to see so many patient support groups join forces to all do their bit to make blood cancer visible.”

Despite the lack of public awareness, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer or a related disorder every 14 minutes. The condition also places a considerable burden on patients’ lives, with 46% of those patients surveyed believing their condition has had a negative impact on their financial situation2 and over half (53%) experiencing depression or anxiety since their diagnosis.2

As part of the campaign, Janssen commissioned designer Paul Cocksedge to create an installation that gathers 104 three-dimensional giant names in Paternoster Square, London for the public to visit until 30 September.

The installation represents the 104 individuals that are diagnosed with blood cancer every day, 3 raising public awareness and making their experiences visible by exposing their individual stories.

Each sculpture is the real name of someone who has been diagnosed with a blood cancer, and is sized to perfectly match their height. The names are arranged to reflect the patterns that occur when people gather in crowds, and set in a recurring typeface intended to emphasise their shared experiences.

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