Over the last few months, Myeloma UK ran the “Close the Gap” campaign highlighting the importance of a timely myeloma diagnosis.
During the campaign, Myeloma UK shared new data on the impact of delayed diagnosis in our ‘A life worth living report’ and launched a new diagnosis-focused research programme.
Myeloma UK survey shows how late myeloma diagnosis impacts quality of life
Myeloma UK has published a report called ‘A Life Worth Living’, which highlights the impact a late myeloma diagnosis has on the quality of life of myeloma patients in the UK.
The report sets out the findings from an online survey of myeloma patients and carers. The results present compelling new evidence that a late diagnosis leads to patients experiencing a reduced quality of life and adds significant service burdens to the NHS.
Of the 1324 survey participants, 50% of myeloma patients reported a late diagnosis of myeloma (GP visit more than three months before diagnosis or diagnosis via A&E), compared to 30% who had a timely diagnosis (diagnosis within three months of GP visit, no visits to A&E).
Patients with a late diagnosis experienced a significantly greater impact on their quality of life compared to those with a timelier diagnosis compared to those with a timely diagnosis (49% vs 30%, two-tailed test, p < 0.05).
Myeloma UK is now using the evidence to push for quality of life to be included as a key part of the government’s ten-year cancer strategy.
Myeloma UK launches Early Diagnosis Research Programme
Myeloma UK has launched a new Early Diagnosis Research Programme and is investing £500,000 in two innovative research projects which aim to find new, better approaches to diagnosis.
The first project, led by Prof Chris Bunce at the University of Birmingham, aims to help address two main barriers to a myeloma screening programme, making screening more feasible.
The second project, led by Prof Kwee Yong at University College London, will help develop tools to accurately predict the patients likely to develop cancer and treatments to slow down or prevent the development of myeloma.
It is hoped that the research will transform myeloma diagnosis giving every patient the best chance of living a long life, free from restrictive complications caused by late diagnosis.
These projects are part of Myeloma UK’s Early Diagnosis Programme, which aims to improve myeloma diagnosis through healthcare professional education and awareness-raising, influencing policy and funding research.