Should I box or should I avoid impact sports

I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2017. In remission after my first chemo session I am almost 5 years post treatment completion.

I recently signed up for a White Collar Boxing event in aid of Cancer UK. But….whilst not shy of getting hit (I used to be a rugby player and I’m the military) I just don’t seem to recover from getting hit particularly quickly and nose bleeds are profuse once hit in the nose (just had a check blood test and all ok.

There is something telling me I shouldn’t box…is that me or should I not box due to having had leukaemia?


Hi @David1969 a great big welcome to our forum and you ask a very good question.
I will copy this to the Blood Cancer UK nurses @BloodCancerUK_Nurses in case they have any thoughts.
However, although I am not medically trained, I wonder if you have your own thoughts for you deep down, by your last paragraph?
Perhaps you might talk to someone who knows you medically about your symptoms, in the military, or not
The main thing is that you look after yourself.
I look forward to hearing more about you.

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Hi @David1969. A great thing to do but reading your post I understand why you might think this isn’t such a good idea. Do you have a medical professional you can ask, or your GP? The Blood cancer Uk nurses will be able to advise to, I can see @Erica has copied them in. I think asking these questions before you box is definitely the right thing to do :blush:


Hello @David1969
Firstly, congratulations on your soon to be 5 years post treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, that must be a winderful feeling. Good to hear your blood counts are normal too.

I would suggest a couple of things; do ask your Haematology team about boxing as they are fully aware of your clinical background and any issues you had during treatment. I would also suggest that if your nose has a tendency to bleed then I would ask your GP for a Ears, Nose and Throat as it may be that you have a small vessel in your nose that is vulnerable and that can be managed very easily Nosebleed - NHS
It is great that you are thinking of doing events for charity but best to be checked first as it may be that combat sports are avoided for now.
I do hope this helps,


Thank you all (@GemmaBloodCancerUK @Nichola75 @Erica) for you swift replies, advice and support. I will revert to my consultant and seek some ENT advice also.

I was asymptomatic when I was diagnosed as an anomaly was discovered during a routine blood test. On reflection I had been getting a lot of nose bleeds but put this down to a busy work schedule (stress) whilst training for a mid distance triathlon. Also, during my treatment I suffered a lot of nose bleeds so there is a psychological association with a period of time I would rather not reflect on. In short a nose bleed takes me to a darker place than I normally reside…I think in order to protect myself mentally and physically boxing is off the menu…

I am not the sort of person to discuss things, I internalise and then emerge with a solution after a quiet day or two, so this was a huge thing for me to vocalise via a forum so thank you for your understanding…because I should have had the intelligence to go straight to my consultant in the first instance…thank you all again.


Hi again @David1969. I think it’s great that you vocalised your concerns on here, especially as you’re used to coming up with a solution yourself. I was the same, never asked anything just thought I’d solve it on my own. Since joining this forum I now know I can ask or say anything. Nothing is to big or to small, no question is a silly question and asking advice is what this forum is all about. Honestly, it’s not about having the intelligence to go to your consultant - this is the first place I always go as I never want to bother my team. I’m then guided by the advice given.
I hope we hear more from you. Please let us know how you get on after talking to your team. It’s great to have you here :blush:


Hi @David1969 Thanks so much for having the courage to post on here.
We are a friendly lot on here.
I was brought up to sort things out myself and that was a strength, but I am slowly learning on here that actually it is a strength to ask for help.
Please let us how you get on and take lots of care.


Hi @David1969 I have been thinking about you and especially your words ’ I should have had the intelligence to go straight to my consultant in the first instance’.
It sounds as if you are very hard on yourself and it has taken a lot of courage to post on here, thank you.
I think I am also not good at thinking on my feet, I also like to discuss things and then have time to weigh things up in my mind before making a decision.
I have learnt with medical appointments to ask about the pros and cons and are there other options, just open questions.
Have you any updates yet?
Look after yourself and be kind to yourself

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Hi Erica,

Sorry for the delay in replying. I thought I had done and then found an undelivered in my junk mail box.

Update is that I took myself out of the boxing event and felt hugely relieved at doing so. In a good place and I decided not to investigate further until my next scheduled review…better that way I think.

Thank you for thinking of me.

Kind regards and I am definitely being kind to myself,