Dedicated support line announced for Australians impacted by blood cancer, as incidence continues to rise
- Leukaemia Foundation announces the first and only dedicated blood cancer support line to help the growing number of Australians impacted by blood cancer.
- ·Research confirms access to supportive care can improve quality of life & survival outcomes1.
- ·To access the free and confidential support line, contact 1800 620 420 or visit bloodcancer.org.au
With more Australians experiencing the devastation and disruption of a blood cancer diagnosis, on the first day of Blood Cancer Month, the Leukaemia Foundation is announcing Australia’s first and only dedicated blood cancer support line.
The latest data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare confirms 53 Australians will be diagnosed with blood cancer (including leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma) every day this year, an increase from 50 people daily in 20212.
With incidence continuing to rise, 5-year survivorship of blood cancer has remained stagnant (67.9%) and lower than all cancers combined in Australia (70.1%)3. A recent Australian study also found survivors of blood cancer with high unmet supportive care needs were 50 per cent more likely to see their cancer return4.
Leukaemia Foundation CEO Chris Tanti said 135,000 Australians are currently living with blood cancer and diagnoses are projected to nearly double by 20355. In addition to treatment pathways, access to personalised supportive care and information is critical to ensure every single Australian impacted by blood cancer has the opportunity to survive the disease and thrive, regardless of where they live.
“Whether you are currently living with blood cancer, undergoing treatment, in remission, a carer, or grieving the loss of a loved one, Australia’s blood cancer support line is now available to guide all Australians through the emotional, physical, and psychosocial challenges of blood cancer,” Mr Tanti said.
“When someone receives a blood cancer diagnosis, it can feel like the beginning of a long, and isolating journey. Treatment is often complex and urgent, and life-saving care can be far from home. We know too many Australians are left feeling overwhelmed, unsure – and alone.”
“Sadly, many Australians impacted by blood cancer still face barriers to receiving the care they need, when they need it. By breaking down these barriers and offering personalised supportive care and information at no cost, we know that we can help people not only survive their blood cancer but thrive.” he added.
During Blood Cancer Month and beyond, the Leukaemia Foundation continues to stand with and support all Australians living with blood cancer and their loved ones, reminding them that they are not alone.
Blood Cancer in Australia – facts and figures6:
- Every year, 19,403 Australians will be newly diagnosed with blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma. In Australia today, more than 53 people will be told they have blood cancer – equivalent to one person every 27 minutes.
- Every day, 16 Australians are losing their battle with blood cancer. 1 in 3 people with a blood cancer will not survive 5 years after diagnosis.
- 135,000 people are living with blood cancer or a related blood disorder in Australia today. By 2035, this figure is set to nearly double.
- The incidence of blood cancer continues to grow – over the past 10 years alone, the incidence of blood cancer has increased by 47%.
- There is a 34% risk of an adult blood cancer patient who has contracted COVID losing their life – or a more than one in three chance of mortality7.
1, 4 Hall, A, Este, C, Tzelepis, et al, 2014, Factors associated with Haematological cancer survivors experiencing a high level of unmet need across multiple items of supportive care: a cross-sectional survey study, Support Care Cancer, 22:2899-2909, doi: 10.1007/s00520-014-2264-6.
2,3 Cancer data in Australia
5 State of the Nation: Blood Cancer in Australia
6 Cancer data in Australia
7 Outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 3377 patients