September is designated as Blood Cancer Awareness Month to support patients affected by blood cancer, spread awareness, and raise funds to progress research on blood cancer. There are three main types of blood cancer — leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Nearly 1.3 million people in the United States are in remission or in treatment for blood cancer. Treatment has advanced greatly over the years, increasing survival rates, but there is still a long way to go.
History of Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Blood Cancer Awareness Month is crucial for increasing fundraising efforts and awareness on blood cancer. Since the mid-1970s, survival rates have increased by 25% as a result of this ongoing endeavor.
In 2010, Congress designated September as Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Every month, an estimated 14,000 people are diagnosed with blood cancer in the United States. Blood cancer has always remained a stubborn challenge, even after first-generation chemotherapy drugs were introduced in the mid-1950s. Prevention and early detection have always posed a gap in battling the disease; the first step to close this gap was when x-rays and radiation therapies were discovered in the early 20th century. Fortunately, advancements in technology and treatment procedures since then have been helpful in detecting the disease early, which is why the five-year survival rate for leukemia has quadrupled since the 1960s.
But these advancements and statistics are broad across the types of blood cancer, whereas the real numbers outside of these statistics are not so rosy. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is extremely deadly, and despite its growing survival rate, it is estimated that 20,140 deaths will still occur from the disease this year.
Blood Cancer Awareness Month timeline
British doctor Thomas Hodgkin publishes the first clinical description of lymphoma.
New radiation discoveries such as x-rays make the first radiation therapies for lymphoma successful.
Troubled by the lack of effective treatments, Rudolph and Antoinette de Villiers establish the Robert Roesler de Villiers Foundation, which will later become the Leukemia Society.
Research and efforts to find a cure for the disease remain a challenge.
Blood Cancer Awareness Month FAQs
What color is for blood cancer?
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society established red to represent all blood cancers.
What month is leukemia cancer?
September is Leukemia Awareness Month.
What is the symbol of blood cancer?
Some common blood cancer symptoms include coughing or chest pain, fever or chills, and frequent infections.
How To Observe Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Anyone can become a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) volunteer. Head over to their website and apply for one of the many opportunities for volunteering.
2. Participate in events
Get involved with local events or charitable fundraisers hosted by organizations.
3. Become an advocate
Advocacy is critical for the LLS. The more people know and the disease is talked about, the better.
5 Facts About Blood Cancer Worth Knowing
Blood cancer death toll
Someone in the United States dies from blood cancer approximately every nine minutes.
The projected figure for 2020
More than 58,640 leukemia-related deaths were expected in the U.S. in 2020.
Improved survival rates
According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 66% of people diagnosed with leukemia live five years or longer.
No screening tests
As of now, there are no effective screening programs for early detection.
Three main types of blood cancer
The three main types of blood cancer are leukemia, lymphomas, and myeloma.
Why Blood Cancer Awareness Month is Important
Blood Cancer Awareness Month raises awareness and increases the participation of affected people as well as volunteers in research. More research means a better understanding of the disease, and prevention and cure.
Supporting loved ones
We stand in solidarity with those who have loved ones affected by blood cancer, and the patients. In this challenging time, grief shared is grief halved.
Encourages early detection
Since the symptoms aren’t confirmed, blood cancer awareness month encourages people to get checkups done for possible signs of the disease, for early detection and treatment.
Blood Cancer Awareness Month dates