Leukaemia Foundation continues to fight for Australians living with blood cancer
September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Every day another 35 Australians are diagnosed with a blood cancer or disorder, and according to the latest analysis from the Leukaemia Foundation, this number continues to rise. Leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma and the blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are four of Australia’s top 20 most diagnosed cancers. In the past ten years each disease has shown a jump in diagnosis rates, from 23 percent for MDS, to as high as 44 percent for myeloma.
The Leukaemia Foundation plays a vital role in supporting Australians affected with blood cancer including advocating for new therapies and treatments as well as providing educational, emotional and practical support such as transport and accommodation.
Over the past year alone, the Leukaemia Foundation has provided more than 1.5 million kilometres of transport and close to 55,000 nights of free accommodation to regional families forced to relocate to capital cities for life saving treatment.
The staggering figures are a reminder of the extensive support that is needed for people affected with blood cancer in Australia as the Leukaemia Foundation welcomes Blood Cancer Awareness month this September by hosting the first national Blood Cancer Conference on Saturday 8 September.
As blood cancer diagnoses rates continue to rise and demand for its service escalates, the Leukaemia Foundation is turning its focus this month to ensuring the latest blood cancer information is available and accessible to all people affected by the disease.
The 2018 National Blood Cancer Conference brings together sixteen of the nation’s leaders in blood cancer research, treatment, and wellbeing in a forum to share their expertise and knowledge, with a theme of transplant and survivorship. The event will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre as well as through an online education hub available on the Leukaemia Foundation’s website. To access this information visit www.leukaemia.org.au.
Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said the conference was part of the Leukaemia Foundation’s commitment to provide better and equal access to the latest blood cancer information to all Australians.
“There are 60,000 Australians currently living with a blood cancer, and sadly an Australian loses their life to blood cancer every two hours,” Mr Petch said.
“We feel that there is much more to be done and hopes to one day see a future that is free of this deadly disease,” he said.
“We’ve taken a holistic approach to the content of this conference to educate members of the public interested to know more about blood cancer; and to assist people living with blood cancer to become actively engaged in managing their wellness and navigating the health system,” Mr Petch said.
“Attending the conference is an opportunity for people living with blood cancer and their families to connect with other people in similar positions and give each other the much needed peer support to reduce the feelings of isolation. It also caters to carers of people living with blood cancer providing an opportunity to come together to share their unique experiences and challenges.”
The conference is currently at full capacity but all Australians will be able to access the information through an online education hub available on the Leukaemia Foundation’s website.
As part of Blood Cancer Awareness month the Leukaemia Foundation is encouraging Australians to stand up and support people living with blood cancer by sharing their message to blood cancer in just five words, using the hashtag #5words2bloodcancer.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2017). Cancer Compendium: information and trends by cancer type. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-compendium-information-and-trends-by-cancer-type/report-contents/leukaemia-in-australia