If you have any symptoms of blood cancer, they need to be checked by your doctor.

What is blood cancer?

Like the rest of your body, blood is made of tiny 'building blocks’ called cells.

Blood cancer begins with the abnormal growth of these blood cells.

There are many types of blood cancer. The most common types are:

  • leukaemia
  • lymphoma
  • myeloma

Cancer is a disease of the body's cells. It starts in our genes. Our bodies are constantly making new cells, a process controlled by certain genes. Cancers are caused by damage to these genes. As the damaged cells replicate a lump or tumour is formed. 

Tumours can be:

  • Benign - not cancerous. These do not spread to other parts of the body.
  • Malignant - cancerous


Blood cancer symptoms

Signs and symptoms of blood cancer may include:

  • bone pain
  • skin rash and itching
  • tiredness (fatigue)
  • unexplained fevers
  • bruising or bleeding easily
  • weight loss for no reason
  • swollen lymph glands
  • abnormal sweating, especially at night
  • repeat infections

Having these symptoms does not mean you have blood cancer, but it is important to geat any changes checked by your doctor.

Tips for talking to your doctor

  • make a list of what you are feeling and how often it happens, including as much detail as possible
  • think about your family/whānau history of cancer and tell your doctor
  • go back to your doctor if you don't feel better, even if tests show you don't have a problem - you can ask for a second opinion if you want one 
  • take a family/whānau member or friend with you to the appointment for support
Need someone to talk to?
8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday
0800 226 237 Information nurse

We know that going through cancer is tough and can raise many questions. You are not alone.

We have health professionals to answer your questions and provide the support you need. Get in touch

Last updated: December 22, 2022