Do you have itchy skin? Sign could be a symptom of this killer disease

Blood cancer, the fifth most common type of cancer in the UK, affects the blood, bone marrow, lymph and lymphatic system. 

There are three main groups will fall under the term blood cancer - leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. 

Some symptoms are common across all three types, whereas others are more characteristic of particular types of blood cancer. 

But it’s important if you experience any or all of the symptoms to visit your GP who will refer you for further tests. 

So what are the symptoms? 

According to Leukaemia Care, the common symptoms of blood cancers can include: 

  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Fatigue 
  • Feeling weak or breathless
  • Easily bruise or bleed
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Swollen stomach or abdominal discomfort 
  • Frequent and repeated infections 
  • Fever/night sweats 
  • Pain in bones/joints 
  • Itchy skin 
  • Bone pain (ribs/back)

Are you worried about blood cancer? 

Bloodwise advises: “Blood cancer symptoms can be quite vague and many of them are shared with illnesses like colds and flu - for example tiredness, fever or an infection. Lumps are a common symptom of lymphoma, but other, less serious illnesses also cause lumps. 

“Because of this, see your doctor if you have symptoms or groups of symptoms that you think are unusual for you, or last for longer than normal.” 

Someone is diagnosed with blood cancer in the UK every 14 minutes.

Here are the three most common types of blood cancer explained. 


This is a cancer of the white blood cells, according to the NHS.

It is sometimes called acute leukaemia, which means it progresses rapidly and aggressively, and usually requires immediate treatment.

Symptoms can develop across a few weeks and become increasingly more severe.


This occurs when lymphocytes - white blood cells that help to fight infection - become out of control. 

According to the Lymphoma Association, they divide in an abnormal way or do not die when they should.

Multiple myeloma

This is a type of bone marrow cancer which affects the production of healthy blood cells.

It can affect several areas in the body, but often the spine, skull, pelvis and ribs, according to the NHS.

In the early stage it may not cause any symptoms.

However, later on signs include a dull ache in your bones, weak bones, tiredness, repeated infections and brushing and unusual bleeding, including heavy periods.

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