The UK's largest ever blood cancer public awareness campaign will be launched on September 1, in response to low awareness of the group of diseases, which includes leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Research undertaken by blood cancer charity Bloodwise has revealed that for patients, this lack of awareness adds significantly to the stress, uncertainty and worry that comes with a cancer diagnosis. Low awareness also meant many patients, friends and families didn't know about the organisations and support services that exist to help them.

Despite collectively being the fifth most common type of cancer and claiming more lives in the UK each year than breast or prostate cancer, many people have little or no knowledge about blood cancers.

A nationwide campaign by the charity, to coincide with Blood Cancer Awareness Month, highlights the fact that blood cancer is comprised of 137 individual diseases - this message will be loud and clear on 3,000 billboards across the UK.

Many patients understandably focus on their specific cancer, not realising their disease is one of many blood cancers.

Diana Jupp, Director of Patient Experience at Bloodwise, said: "38,000 people are diagnosed with a blood cancer each year in the UK, yet very few people are familiar with the term "blood cancer". Patients have told us that a lack of awareness has a significant impact throughout their patient journey - from confusion and uncertainty at diagnosis to being unaware of the organisations that provide the support and care they need."

"This lack of awareness for one of the most common forms of cancer cannot be tackled overnight, and this campaign is the first step to addressing this problem."

Bloodwise found that only 38% of the UK public had heard of myeloma, the blood cancer responsible for the most deaths each year - and many of those confused the disease with the skin cancer melanoma. Even lymphoma, the most common group of blood cancers, could only be identified as a cancer by half the population. This results in newly diagnosed patients and their families feeling confused and isolated.

Wendy Leigh, 47, who has follicular lymphoma, said: "I didn't really know anything about blood cancer before my diagnosis. When I was diagnosed, many people asked "what's that?". It was almost impossible to try and explain to my family as I didn't really understand myself - I was too busy panicking."

Bloodwise is the new name of the UK blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, which was founded in 1960. The new name was chosen to reflect the charity's work for patients with all blood cancers, and unites everything being done to beat them, from world leading research and thought leadership to patient support services and fundraising.

Further information can be found at and