Close your eyes. Think of 1.6 million people. It’s hard, right?
1.6 million would fill every seat in approximately twenty-five pro football stadiums. An average city bus would have to make 27,000 trips to transport them all.
And that’s how many people are currently living with or in remission from blood cancers in the United States—1.6 million of our children, parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, and neighbors.
This Blood Cancer Awareness Month, we honor them—and all those caring for, raising funds for, advocating for, and researching for them. It all adds up to change the course of healthcare and the future of the diseases.
Here at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), when we close our eyes, we picture a world without blood cancer. It’s a vision that fuels all those who support, donate, and fundraise for research, patient support and resources, and healthcare advocacy. It’s both a beacon of hope and a rallying cry to bring people together in pursuit of this ambitious goal.
With the support of generous donors and volunteers, we’ve made massive strides. But the reality is that the number of new patients continues to grow—an average of 189,589 new cases of blood cancer were diagnosed in the US each year from 2015 to 2019.
That’s a new blood cancer diagnosis approximately every three minutes.
The staggering number of new diagnoses is a stark reminder that there’s still work to be done. And we’re leading the way.
Until we reach our greater mission of curing blood cancer, LLS is working to improve the quality of life of blood cancer patients and their families through resources and support—for patients and caregivers, healthcare providers, fundraisers, and donors.
Patients and survivors*: Learn more about our personalized support
If you or a loved one are facing blood cancer, remember that you are not alone. Wherever you are in your diagnosis, LLS has a wide variety of FREE support services and resources, including:
- Personalized support from highly trained oncology social workers and nurses, who assist through treatment, social challenges, and connection to financial assistance. Whether you have questions about treatment options, managing side effects, or simply need someone to talk to, our team of compassionate oncology professionals is just a call or click away.
- One on one consultations with registered dietitians, who provide oncology nutrition education. Eating well helps people with cancer feel better, stay stronger, and better tolerate the side effects of treatment. Good nutrition also helps the body replace blood cells and healthy tissues that are damaged as a result of cancer treatment.
- Assistance from Clinical Trial Oncology Nurses, who guide patients through the entire clinical trial process. Clinical trials can be the best options for some patients and pave the way for groundbreaking discoveries that can change the course of blood cancer treatment.
- A variety of additional resources. From emotional support to practical guidance, we’re dedicated to helping you lead a full life beyond your diagnosis.
*Note: Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recognizes patients as survivors “from the time of diagnosis.” Here at LLS, whether you were just diagnosed yesterday or have reached remission, you are considered a survivor.
Healthcare providers: Give your patients additional support
Through a range of free resources and services, LLS can supplement the care you give patients throughout their experience with blood cancer.
Informed patients tend to navigate their care and experience more effectively, and our Information Specialists offer personalized patient and caregiver support. By referring your patients to this free service, you empower them with accurate information, guidance on treatment options, and emotional encouragement, enhancing the quality of care you provide and reinforcing the trust between you and your patients.
LLS also provides one-on-one nutrition consultations with registered dietitians and access to Clinical Trial Oncology Nurses who guide patients through the entire process of these cutting-edge treatments. Your partnership with these initiatives not only contributes to your patients’ overall well-being, but also to greater advancements in treatment methodologies.
By partnering with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, you play a vital role in ensuring comprehensive care for your patients. Together, we can transform their experiences into stories of resilience, hope, and recovery.
Fundraisers and donors: Ignite hope and get involved
Your incredible donations and fundraising efforts change lives. With your help, in a single year we’ve:
- Responded to approximately 26,000 inquiries from patients and caregivers via Information Specialists
- Awarded 105 scholarships to young adult blood cancer survivors
- Dedicated $35 million in new multi-year funding to support more than 260 active research programs
Your generosity fuels support, resources, research, and advocacy that redefine how patients and caregivers experience blood cancer. There are multiple ways to get involved:
- Donate directly
- Join a fundraising event
- Become a volunteer
- Sign up to be an advocate
- Follow our social accounts and share our posts to raise awareness
Count on LLS
Amid the heartening progress made possible by the dedication of healthcare providers, researchers, advocates, donors, and volunteers, we acknowledge the ongoing challenge posed by the increasing number of new diagnoses. New cases of leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma are expected to account for 9.4 percent of the estimated 1,958,310 new cancer cases that will be diagnosed in the US in 2023. With numbers like that, it’s crucial we continue this life-changing work.
There is strength in unity and our greatest resource is each other. Patients and their loved ones are not alone—they have the support and assurance of LLS, including free and personalized services and resources to help carry some of the weight.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is here when it counts—to ensure these resources are accessible, to advocate for policies that ensure health equity, to advance treatment options, and to be here for all things big and small in the lives of those affected by blood cancer.
Will you join us?
This story was published by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on September 1, 2023. It is republished with permission.