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Government’s commitment to blood cancer

Monday 3 February, 2020

The Leukaemia Foundation welcomes the commitment from the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to establish a Blood Cancer Taskforce and Action Plan.

The Blood Cancer Taskforce will work with leading clinicians, researchers and patient groups in the blood cancer community to develop a blueprint and recommendations for Government to improve blood cancer survival rates.

Currently, close to 13,000 Australians are diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma every year (1), however recent analysis showed the number would increase to around 17,000 people (2) by 2025. This is close to 50 Australians projected to be newly diagnosed, every day, by 2025 – or two people every hour.

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said that this commitment from Government is welcome news for the blood cancer community.

“We are pleased that the Government has acknowledged the need for national leadership and action on blood cancer,” Mr Petch said.

“There are significant differences in treatment and survival outcomes depending on where a person lives, so it’s really important that we work together with Australia’s leading experts, Government and the blood cancer community to develop a plan to beat blood cancer.”

“For people living with blood cancer this is really significant, because we now have bipartisan commitment from both sides of politics to develop a blueprint for action on blood cancer.”

The Leukaemia Foundation looks forward to working with the incoming Government, our members and partners to progress this important work.

The Leukaemia Foundation provides practical and emotional support to Australians diagnosed with a blood cancer at no cost, thanks to the generosity of the community through our fundraising efforts. We invite all Australians living with a blood cancer, their families and carers to subscribe for ongoing information at or call 1800 620 420.

[2] Incidence data from 2005 – 2015: