NATIONAL BLOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
During September, National Blood Cancer Awareness Month sheds light on the cancers that affect the blood and lymphatic systems.
The observance focuses its attention on all blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndromes. By raising awareness, the goal is to inform the public about the causes of blood cancers, how to identify the symptoms, available treatments, and progress made through research.
Blood cancers affect white blood cells or in some cases, red blood cells, or platelets. While no effective screening exists, knowing the symptoms and risk factors help to understand when to see a doctor.
- lymph node swelling
- fatigue that persists
- night sweats
- difficulty catching breath
- unexplained weight loss
- family history
- genetic disorders
- exposure to radiation or chemotherapy
- people with HIV, those taking immune-suppressing drugs
- people with Epstein-Barr
Leukemia survival rate quadrupled since 1960. However, in the United States, 14,000 people are diagnosed with blood cancers every month. Depending on the type of cancer, the survival rate varies. Hodgkin’s lymphoma, for example, has a much higher survival rate and is diagnosed less often. Conversely, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma will be diagnosed more often and will have a lower expectation of survival.
Even though survival rates continue to improve, someone in the United States dies from a blood cancer every 9 minutes. In the United States, nearly 10% of the people who die from cancer, die from blood cancer.
HOW TO OBSERVE #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth
Learn more about blood cancers. When it comes to risk factors, know yours. Check your family history and get it added to your medical record. Participate in a fundraiser for research. Whether it’s a race or a memorial, the time spent with others focused on a common cause will show those going through treatment that you care. Watch a Ted Talk about a survivor of a blood cancer. Find out how far research has come, and how far it has to go.
Use #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth to share your story.
NATIONAL BLOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH HISTORY
Congress designated September as National Blood Cancer Awareness Month in 2010. Since then, organizations continue to promote advancements, support, and discoveries.
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