The charity Bloodwise have produced a set of toolkits for management of patients with chronic blood cancers.
Some 5,000 patients a year in the UK are put on 'watch and wait' treatment programmes after being diagnosed with conditions such as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The new resources include a toolkit aimed at GPs and practice nurses which identifies crucial symptoms for doctors to watch for, such as new swellings and unexplained weight loss.
It also suggests how to manage symptoms such as fatigue and to assist patients facing anxiety and uncertainty.
GP Dr Fiona Neale, from Chesham, Buckinghamshire, said: “This material will really help primary and secondary care professionals to work in partnership to provide better support for blood cancer patients, and help them to cope at home with their symptoms and uncertainty.”
The charity’s head of patient services Reta Brownlow said: “After running a series of focus groups with people on watch and wait, we discovered that GPs might find it helpful to receive specialist guidance on how best to support patients.
“This toolkit will help GPs to be more aware of the needs of these patients, and offers valuable insight into the psychological impact that Watch and Wait can have."
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