Signs of lymphoma misdiagnosed as flu

GPs have been urged to be more aware of the signs of lymphoma.

The symptoms are similar to those of persistent cold and flu and the cancer is often missed in the early stages.

Swollen glands, general fatigue and weight loss, coughing and breathlessness, night sweats, high temperature and itching are all key symptoms.

But when presented as a case study to 300 GPs in August, only 40 per cent identified these as signs of lymphoma.

The survey, carried out by market research company ICM, also showed that two thirds of GPs underestimated the prevalence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Around 9,200 new cases are diagnosed in the UK each year.

West London GP Dr Sarah Jarvis said GPs need to be 'more vigilant' in spotting the signs of lymphoma.

'These symptoms are too often misdiagnosed as persistent cold or flu,' she said.

ICM has also surveyed 2,000 members of the general public and found that 79 per cent were unaware that lymphoma was even a cancer.

The latest warnings coincide with World Lymphoma Awareness Day this month.

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