Blood cancers – how aware are you?

Blood cancers – how aware are you?

Blood Cancer Awareness Month (September) is an internationally recognised awareness month gaining traction in Australia for all the right reasons.

The aim of the month is simple – to raise awareness of what blood cancers are, who they affect and how people can help. With 12,000 Australians diagnosed with blood cancers each year (leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma), it is vital that the public are educated on why research is so important, stories are shared and ways to make a difference are communicated.

Blood cancers don’t discriminate and can affect anyone at any time. Symptoms of these diseases can often be put down to something else and yet early diagnosis can make all the difference when it comes to treatment.

Blood cancers can be extremely complex. Medical research into new treatments is vital.

Some patients will require a bone marrow/stem cell transplant as part of their treatment and for many, a transplant might be their only chance of a cure.

With a significant proportion of transplants now involving unrelated donors, raising awareness of the transplant process is vital. Many potential donors are afraid of the donation process, however, 90% of people donate their stem cells in a quick and easy process, which is similar to giving blood.

Patients undergoing treatment for blood cancer often require blood or platelet transfusions. With cancer diagnosis rates on the increase, there’s a huge demand on blood donors, and yet only a small percentage of the population donate blood. We need more blood donors. By giving new recruits an understanding of why it’s so important, we hope that people will take the time to donate. We hope that people will take the time to help save a life.

Thanks to research, treatment of blood cancers has improved dramatically, however there is still a long way to go. Whether you decide to give blood, join the stem cell/bone marrow register or help us fundraise for medical research and clinical trials of new treatments to help fight blood cancers, your efforts will be greatly appreciated.

Please share this with your friends and family and help raise the awareness of blood cancers. Every Australian can help in some way to fight blood cancers.

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For more information on how you can help:-

Australian Red Cross Blood Service – http://www.donateblood.com.au/

Bone marrow donation – http://www.donateblood.com.au/about-blood/bone-marrow-donation

Snowdome Foundation – http://snowdome.org.au/about-us/blood-cancers/

Or talk to your GP for further information.