New data reveals GPs are in the dark about deadly cancer that claims the lives of over 4,500 people a year

New campaign launched today to raise awareness about lymphoma

Embargoed until 00:01 (GMT) 15 September, 2007

Welwyn Garden City – 14 September, 2007. National research announced today reveals that over 40% of GPs cannot recognise lymphoma or identify the six key symptoms1.  With incidence increasing and over 4,500 patients dying each year2, it is extremely important that GPs are able to recognise signs of lymphoma – a cancer that can be fatal within 6 months. The survey also showed that 79% of the general public questioned did not even know that lymphoma is a cancer3 – a shocking result considering it is the 6th most common cancer in the UK.

These are the key findings of new research, conducted amongst over 2,000 members of the general public and 300 GPs announced today to mark World Lymphoma Awareness Day this coming Saturday and the launch of the ‘Can You Spot Lymphoma?’ campaign.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP, Hammersmith, was alarmed by these results. “These findings are extremely worrying as an early diagnosis of lymphoma can be key in ensuring successful treatment and in some cases even a cure. We as GPs need to be much more vigilant in spotting the early signs of lymphoma which include swelling of the glands in the armpits neck or groin, cough or breathlessness, persistent itching, fever, night sweats and weight loss.  These symptoms are too often misdiagnosed as persistent cold or flu,” she concludes.

“Lymphoma rates are rising across the UK and these new findings demonstrate the urgent need for better awareness of lymphoma by both the general public and healthcare professionals,” comments Melanie Burfitt, Chief Executive of the Lymphoma Association.  “We support World Lymphoma Awareness Day to raise the profile of this terrible cancer and to ensure people are able to spot the symptoms.” she continues.

The ICM research also showed two thirds of the 300 GPs questioned underestimated the incidence of non-hodgkin lymphoma, one of the most common forms of lymphoma1.

Notes to Editors

Can You Spot Lymphoma? Campaign

Saturday 15th September marks World Lymphoma Awareness Day, a global initiative to raise awareness of lymphoma.  In the UK, the ‘Can You Spot Lymphoma?’ campaign by Roche Products Ltd kicked off with an interactive event on the South Bank in London on Wednesday 12th September, which included virtual surgeries with Dr Sarah Jarvis and GMTV’s Dr Hilary Jones.

About Roche in the UK

Roche aims to improve people's health and quality of life with innovative products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Part of one of the world’s leading healthcare groups, Roche in the UK employs nearly 2,000 people in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Globally Roche is the leader in diagnostics, and a major supplier of medicines for the treatment of cancer, transplantation, virology, bone and rheumatology, obesity and renal anaemia. Find out more at


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1 ICM GP Omnibus Survey conducted in August 2007

2 Cancer Research UK, Lymphoma mortality statistics, 2005

3 ICM Research Patient survey conducted between August 22nd-26th 2007

PRX2537 Sep07

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