Latest data confirms one in 12 Australians will be affected by blood cancer

On World Blood Cancer Day, Tuesday May 28, 2024, the Leukaemia Foundation unveiled shocking new statistics highlighting the widespread prevalence of blood cancer in Australia, underscoring that the nation is currently facing a significant blood cancer crisis

According to the latest figures, it’s estimated that eight percent of Australians will be diagnosed with blood cancer at some point in their lifetime. This means one in every twelve Australians will be directly affected by blood cancer. 

Furthermore, as one of the nation’s deadliest cancers that claims over 6,000 lives each year, sadly, one in three Australians will lose their life within five years of being diagnosed.

Leukaemia Foundation CEO, Chris Tanti, said these statistics are extremely worrying as is the fact that blood cancer can happen to anyone, at any time, and from anywhere and there is sadly no way to prevent it.  

“These latest statistics are a distressing reminder that blood cancer is a serious health issue in Australia. It’s unpreventable, and it can strike people at any time in their lives,” said Mr Tanti.  

“From newborn babies, children, adolescents and young adults, to working adults with families and older Australians. A blood cancer diagnosis is completely indiscriminate, and unfortunately, it does not discriminate.” 

Most concerning is blood cancer cannot be prevented by changes to lifestyle or behaviours, it’s at no fault of the individual diagnosed, nor is there any way to predict that it could happen to you. 

“While research has made significant strides over the years in terms of improving treatment and care options, no screening test is available to detect blood cancer early meaning that a diagnosis often comes as a huge shock to those Australians affected.  

“Every day, the Leukaemia Foundation hears from newly diagnosed patients who have no idea how, or why, they’ve been diagnosed with blood cancer. 

“They often ask the question. “Why me?” and reflect on what they could have done to prevent it, or what lifestyle factors could have attributed to their diagnosis, but sadly there is nothing they could have done to stop it happening to them.” 

Improving the quality of life for people living with blood cancer and increasing the survival rates in Australia is at the forefront of the work of the Leukaemia Foundation, with a vision to eradicate blood cancer and see zero lives lost to the disease by 2035.  

And while the incidence of blood cancer has grown by 47% in the past decade, the Leukaemia Foundation has also seen a significant rise in the number of patients, and their loved ones, reaching out for crucial support.  

“To help combat the growing issue of blood cancer and its impact on Australians, the Leukaemia Foundation offers a variety of support services so that patients can concentrate on getting through their treatment and surviving their diagnosis. 

“Services include accommodation while people are undergoing treatment, assistance with transport to appointments, education and information around their blood cancer, as well as other practical, financial, emotional and mental health support. 

“We also invest a significant amount of funds into vital blood cancer research to ensure new treatments and therapies are available to local patients to improve their chances of survival.” 

Without any ongoing government funding, the Leukaemia Foundation is heavily reliant on the generosity of Australians so it can continue to assist people affected by blood cancer, and furthermore improve survival rates now and into the future.   

“The sheer scale of blood cancer in Australia is shocking and we are well and truly amid a blood cancer crisis. If we are to have any hope of improving the quality of life for blood cancer patients and increase survival rates, we urgently need more financial support to achieve these goals.” 

On this World Blood Cancer Day, the Leukaemia Foundation is encouraging Australians to dig deep and help by making a tax-deductible donation to the 2024 tax appeal.  

“The next Australian diagnosed with blood cancer could be your parent, your child, your sibling, your best friend, or anyone you know. Blood cancer impacts everyone, and we need the support of all Australians to fight this hideous disease and support the one in twelve people who will be impacted in their lifetime.”  

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Leukaemia Foundation this World Blood Cancer Day, go to leukaemia.org.au or call 1800 620 420.   

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