Hollyoaks cast and ex-footballers rally round to support man battling blood cancer

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After being rushed to A&E, Cowlard had a scan which revealed a tumour pressing down on his spine. After a short period, at age 46, he was then diagnosed with myeloma.

Like Cowlard, Myeloma affects 24,000 people in the UK at any one time. However, despite being the third most common type of blood cancer, myeloma is especially difficult to diagnose.

Remarkably one in four patients wait more than 10 months for a diagnosis making it some of the longest delays out of any cancer in the UK.

Myeloma UK explains that the condition arises from plasma cells, a type of white blood cell made in the bone marrow. Plasma cells are critical in forming part of the immune system. Normal plasma cells produce antibodies, also called immunoglobulins, to help fight infection.

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