Approximately 1.3 million people in the United States are either being treated for or are in remission from a blood cancer. There are three major types of blood cancer: leukemia, lymphoma (Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma), and myeloma. Treatment advances in blood cancer have greatly increased survival rates among these cancers. Survival rates for myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and leukemia have each increased about 25 percent since the mid-1970s. Increased awareness and fundraising efforts have been pivotal in this endeavour. Thus, each September is designated Blood Cancer Awareness Month to raise money, spread awareness, and support those living with and affected by blood cancer.
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Blood Cancer Awareness Days, Weeks, and Events
Several days in September and throughout the year are dedicated to raising awareness surrounding blood cancer.
MPN Awareness Day Is September 10
This year on September 10, the eighth annual MPN Awareness Day raised awareness and supported those affected by myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), blood cancers that cause an overproduction of blood cells. Every year, the day highlights educational research surrounding MPNs and support MPN patients and caregivers.
Myeloma Awareness Month Is March 2021
World Blood Cancer Day Is May 28, 2021
World Blood Cancer Day is a large annual effort to support people living with and diagnosed with blood cancer. Each year, about 80,000 people seek a stem cell donor outside their family. There are currently approximately 9 million registered stem cell donors. This awareness day is designed to honor those who have already registered to be donors and encourage others to join the registry.
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Annual Community Walks and Runs in Support of Blood Cancer
There are many walks and runs throughout the country in support of people living with blood cancer. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many events are being offered in virtual form while still promoting fundraising and awareness for blood cancer.
Light the Night Walks
Throughout this fall and beyond, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is hosting a series of virtual Light the Night walks, with the closest event being held on September 19 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Many more will be held on October 1, with virtual walks being hosted in Detroit, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. The walks will continue throughout October, so be sure to check its schedule for more information on a date that works for you.
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Conferences and Meetings on Blood Cancer
Professional conferences and meetings offer an opportunity for doctors, researchers, and pharmaceutical professionals to share the latest research and findings on blood cancer. Like some of the runs and walks, many conferences have been postponed or moved to a virtual setting as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upcoming conferences and meetings include:
- National Blood Cancer Conference 2020
- LLS Regional Cancer Conferences 2020
- ASH American Society of Hematology 2020
National Blood Cancer Conference 2020
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society held its 2020 National Blood Cancer Conference virtually on September 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. EDT. The educational event will be open to caregivers, patients, survivors, and family members of those affected, and review treatment options, emerging therapies, and resources provided by LLS.
LLS Regional Cancer Conferences 2020
LSS will hold its virtual conferences on September 26 — hosted by the organization’s Georgia/South Carolina region — and October 3, hosted by LSS’s Metro New York region. Additionally, LLS will host more virtual conferences throughout October and November.
ASH American Society of Hematology 2020
The ASH will hold it's virtual meeting December 5-8 and is the largest conference on blood-related illnesses in the world.
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Volunteering and Partnering With a Local Health Center
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
In addition to hosting conferences and walks, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society also welcomes volunteers to work toward the organization’s mission, campaign to raise funds, serve in the community, and spread awareness.
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society (ACS) seeks volunteers across the country in many capacities, including community outreach, soliciting donations, answering calls on the ACS’s 24/7 hotline, and increasing the impact of the organization at large. Time commitment depends on the specific volunteering job and the location of the ACS branch. Training is provided.
DKMS is an organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders, and seeks volunteers to help organize drives and registration for bone marrow donation, organize events, and to host/participate in fundraisers, both virtually and in person.
How to Spread Awareness About Blood Cancer
In addition to donating or volunteering directly, spreading awareness in social and political circles is a great way to combat blood cancer.
Sharing on Social Media
Social media is an excellent way to spread awareness about blood cancer and the people affected by it. During Blood Cancer Awareness month, some hashtags people are encouraged to use include #bloodcancerawareness and #cancerwarrior, along with hashtags for diseases themselves, including #leukemia, #multiplemyeloma, and #lymphoma. Another way to use social media to make a difference is to encourage people to register themselves as a blood donor or to host an online drive to facilitate registrations.
To support those affected by blood cancer, contact your local officials and urge them to support legislation that ensures that insurance providers can’t deny patients coverage on the basis of preexisting conditions or access to quality care and treatment.
Getting Involved in Research Studies and Clinical Trials for Blood Cancer
Sharing Resources to Help People With Blood Cancer
For support groups for people affected by blood cancer, LLS and CancerCare can direct you to a meeting in your area or connect you with a virtual group. For online support groups, Facebook hosts groups with thousands of members for chronic myeloid leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and many more diseases.