Blood cancer symptoms: The simple finger test that could identify the deadly disease
Blood cancer: Symptoms explained by healthcare professionals
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The symptoms of blood cancer can vary greatly depending on the type of cancer, but one common symptom can be identified without the need for any advanced medical equipment or expertise. Bleeding underneath the skin can lead to the appearance of rashes or blotches that produce a dark purple colour, according to Blood Cancer UK. If you press down on these patches, the colour does not fade as it might with other rashes. If you believe that you have blood cancer you should consult a doctor as soon as you are able to diagnose and treat it.
The signs that appear on the skin can be more or less difficult to identify depending on your natural skin tone.
On light skin a red or purple splotch produces a greater contrast and is easily identified.
On black or brown skin this can appear as a purple patch that appears darker than the skin surrounding it.
Because of the increased difficulty that can occur in identifying these signs, groups like the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust work to increase awareness about these symptoms in communities where they are less likely to be detected.
Other prevalent signs of blood cancer shouldalso be watched for.
Unexplained weight loss, fatigue and shortness of breath are common across many different types of cancer.
More distinctive to blood cancer is a distinctive paleness of the skin, and the presence of unexplained bruises or bleeding on different parts of the body.
If you are uncertain about the paleness of your skin, there is another self-examination you can perform.
Regardless of skin tone, the lower eyelid is the same colour in a healthy person.
Pulling gently down on the lower eyelid should reveal an inside that is dark pink or red.
If it is instead a pale pink or even white then this pallor is a sign of blood cancer.
A self-examination in a mirror should not be taken as a proper medical exam but you can raise it as a point of concern with your GP.
If you suspect you have blood cancer your doctor can arrange for a variety of tests to diagnose it.
This is likely to begin with a physical examination.
This might lead into lab tests on your blood and bone marrow or a lymph node biopsy.
They might also put you through imaging techniques such as CT and X-ray scans.
Blood Cancer UK warns that some of the symptoms of blood cancer and Covid can be difficult to tell apart.
If you have Coronavirus symptoms you should go into self-isolation until you are able to complete a test.
If the test is negative for coronavirus then your symptoms may be caused by something else.
If you suffer from both at once the symptoms of the coronavirus might be concealing the blood cancer, whose symptoms will persist after the point that a coronavirus infection would typically pass.
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