The experience of a Mortimer man who needs to take daily cancer medication for the rest of his life is featured in a new report which will be launched in Parliament today (Tuesday, January 8).

The 'Hear Our Voice' report, by blood cancer charity Bloodwise, features the stories of 10 people from around the UK who have been diagnosed with or lost a relative to the disease.

The report calls on the government to ensure access to emotional and psychological support to all blood cancer patients who need it.

Paul Carless, 50, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia at Christmas 2013. His diagnosis came as a massive shock, especially when he found out his treatment would be life-long.

While he has responded well, Paul's treatment has had significant physical and mental side-effects.

Research by the charity shows that eight in 10 people with blood cancer had mental health concerns following their diagnosis, but few are offered support with what can be a very traumatic experience.

"I was shocked when I found out that I had cancer and that I would have daily treatment for the rest of my life," said Paul.

"I have a range of side effects that I deal with every single day which affect m emotionally and physically. I was originally told there wouldn't be side effects, so this caused considerable worry and left me feeling depressed.

"Often the focus is on the physical effects of blood cancer, but the diagnosis and treatment have as much of an impact on your mental state.

"The lack of offers of any emotional or psychological support at all therefore left me feeling very disappointed. Thankfully I have found coping mechanisms, which include taking on sporting challenged and sharing my experiences to a wide variety of audiences - these distract my mind from focussing too much on the cancer."

Blood cancer is the fifth more common cancer and third biggest cause of cancer death, killing more people each year in the UK than either breast or prostate cancer.

MPs attending the report launch will include Henry Smith, whose mother died from leukaemia in 2012 just weeks after diagnosis.

Gemma Peters, chief executive of Bloodwise, said: “One in 19 people will be diagnosed with a blood cancer in their lifetime. "Although Paul’s experience is unique to him, it and other accounts featured in our report tell the wider story of how people affected by blood cancer are being cared for across the UK.

“There are many positive experiences and the quality of treatment is usually high, but too many feel that their overall care could have been better. We will never stop listening to people affected by blood cancer and working with the government and the NHS to improve treatment.”

The report will be launched at the Strangers’ Dining Room at the Houses of Parliament between 4pm and 6pm.