Health Union Survey Reveals Half of Blood Cancer Cases Detected from Symptoms, Other Half Incidental
PHILADELPHIA — April 25, 2019 — A new Health Union survey reveals that there is a 50-50 split between blood cancer being detected after experiencing symptoms and detection as a result of other unrelated or incidental situations. The survey, titled Blood Cancer In America 2019, illuminates the perspectives and experiences of patients and caregivers impacted by every form of blood cancer, including multiple myeloma, lymphoma, leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms.
Half of the 1,713 patients surveyed said their blood cancer was detected while visiting a doctor due to symptoms. On the other hand, a quarter said their condition was detected during a routine medical test or exam, such as a urine test, and 21% said it was identified while under the care of a doctor for another health condition. Another 4% had their blood cancer detected via a variety of other situations, including while donating blood.
Survey findings showed that how the condition is detected often relates strongly to specific types of blood cancer. For example, people living with lymphoma were more likely than people living with other types to report their cancer was detected during a visit with a healthcare professional (HCP) after experiencing symptoms. Respondents living with leukemia and less common blood cancers, such as myelodysplastic syndromes, were more likely than those with lymphoma and multiple myeloma to have their cancer detected during a routine medical test or exam.
Some specific types of blood cancer were also more likely to be diagnosed by certain HCPs. Respondents with lymphoma were more likely than those with other forms of blood cancer to be diagnosed by a general surgeon, while those with leukemia were more likely than those with other types to be diagnosed by an emergency department physician.
More than four in 10 respondents said they saw two HCPs before receiving an official diagnosis, with a quarter seeing one HCP and 20% seeing three. Those with leukemia were more likely than those with lymphoma and multiple myeloma to only see one doctor before receiving an official diagnosis. People with lymphoma were more likely than those with leukemia or multiple myeloma to see three doctors pre-diagnosis.
“The findings from Blood Cancer In America 2019 reveal that, for many people living with blood cancer, detection and diagnosis can ultimately catch them off-guard,” said Olivier Chateau, co-founder and CEO of Health Union. “For this reason, it is important to have a community, such as Blood-Cancer.com, that can provide people with the information and emotional support they need as they go through their health journeys.”
Blood Cancer In America 2019 surveyed 2,100 U.S. respondents – including 1,713 patients, 180 current caregivers and 207 caregivers of deceased patients – from Sept. 24, 2018 to Jan. 29, 2019. A summary infographic of the results is available on Blood-Cancer.com; additional survey results may be available upon request.
About Health Union
Health Union encourages social interactions that evolve into valuable online health conversations, helping people with chronic conditions find the information, connection and validation they seek. The company creates condition-specific online communities – publishing original, daily content and continuously cultivating social conversation – to support, educate and connect millions of people with challenging, chronic health concerns. Today, the Health Union family of brands includes 21 online health communities, including ParkinsonsDisease.net, MultipleSclerosis.net, Blood-Cancer.com and Type2Diabetes.com.