Make Blood Cancer Visible

As part of Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September, the Irish Cancer Society is working with Chronic Lymphocitic Leukaemia Ireland (CLLI), Multiple Myeloma Ireland and Janssen to forge a coalition of support for blood cancer patients across Ireland and raise awareness.

The campaign is in response to new research that shows almost two thirds (60%) of the Irish public mistake multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow, for a form of skin cancer, and only 1 in 8 (12%) associate it with blood cancer.

Blood cancer is an umbrella term for cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system. Most types of blood cancer are rare, life-threatening conditions with small patient populations.2 There are over 140 different types of blood cancers, which can be classified into three main groups, leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.2 Together, they comprise nearly 10 per cent of all cancers, with more than 1,900 people across Ireland diagnosed annually.

The Make Blood Cancer Visible campaign highlights the importance and impact of blood cancer

Blood cancer symptoms vary, and can lead to a delay in patients going to their doctor. Spotting cancer early is key to successful treatment. The common symptoms of blood cancer include: unexplained weight loss, fatigue, feeling weak or breathless, bruising or bleeding easily, enlarged lymph nodes, a swollen stomach or abdominal discomfort, frequent and repeated infections and fever or night sweats. If you experience any of these symptoms, speak to your GP for further investigations.

The Make Blood Cancer Visible campaign will host a free patient information event for people living with blood cancer on Wednesday, 27 September at 6.30pm in the Davenport Hotel on Merrion Street Lower, Dublin 2. Guest speakers will include: Eric Lowe, former CEO of Myeloma UK, Rachel Fox, Haematology Nurse Specialist, Beaumont Hospital. The event is open to all people living with blood cancer as well as their family, friends and carers.

Blood cancer patient perspectives

Despite blood cancers making up 7% of all cancers worldwide, there is a general lack of awareness because of the major differences between the various types of blood cancer that exist.

Blood cancer has little public profile and as part of Blood Cancer Awareness Month we are working to change this.

Patient Perspectives storybook cover

We want to turn blood cancer into a preventable, chronic or even curable disease by delivering new and better treatment options to patients, as well as providing information and support to patients and their loved ones along the way.

Patient Perspectives is a collection of personal stories from across Europe, shared by individuals affected by blood cancer.

We hope that sharing these stories and experiences will build greater awareness of the true impact of these cancers and help patients, their family members, carers and friends.

View the storybook

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