St Albans woman with chronic leukaemia helps raise awareness of condition
- Credit: Archant
A St Albans woman is campaigning to raise awareness of leukaemia after being diagnosed at the age of 31.
Melanie Joy Hanni, now 32, is encouraging people to learn the symptoms of leukaemia during Blood Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place throughout September.
Since being diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML), Melanie has been supporting national blood cancer charity Leukaemia Care’s #SpotLeukaemia campaign.
She said: “I saw my GP because I was having daily headaches. During the appointment she measured by blood pressure and it was ridiculously high. “This had never been the case for me, I’ve always been the low blood pressure type of person, the one who gets dizzy when it’s too hot and so on.
“As the high blood pressure was very unusual for me, especially considering my age, my doctor asked for some blood tests.”
You may also want to watch:
The day Melanie got her blood tests done she received a call from her GP and was immediately referred to a hospital haematologist, who diagnosed her with CML.
Melanie said: “I didn’t even know there were different types of leukaemia, much less that there are chronic ones. I found out during the appointment that some of the symptoms I was having, and just shrugged off, were actually signs of leukaemia, these were: excessive sweating, especially at night, tiredness, breathlessness, a rash and unintended weight loss.
- 1 May 17: What can open when COVID-19 lockdown rules ease
- 2 Dirty Dancing and The Greatest Showman among St Albans open-air cinema screenings
- 3 Five Guys coming to St Albans
- 4 What are the district's best pub gardens to visit from April 12?
- 5 Author explores city's hidden history
- 6 Mental Health Awareness Week: Easing children’s worries and fears after lockdown
- 7 Council elections: who are St Albans Conservative candidates?
- 8 Area Guide: The vibrant Cathedral city of St Albans
- 9 Olympic hopeful Raissa Vickery benefits from 948 Sports Foundation help
- 10 Council elections: who are St Albans Liberal Democrat candidates?
“Had I known all these symptoms combined could mean blood cancer, I would have sought out my GP a lot sooner.”
CML is manageable by taking chemotherapy tablets at home and having blood tests every three months, and Melanie has a normal life-span despite the side effects of treatments.
The campaign is urging people to be aware of the most common symptoms of leukaemia prior to diagnosis: fatigue, bruising or bleeding, bone or joint pain, fever or night sweats, sleeping problems and shortness of breath.
Leukaemia can be hard to spot because the symptoms often look similar to other unrelated conditions, and early diagnosis saves lives and improves outcomes for patients.
Cards listing symptoms and more information about the campaign can be found at https://www.leukaemiacare.org.uk/get-involved/our-campaigns/spotleukaemia/