Help Us Understand the Full Impact of Blood Cancer

September 30, 2015

Approximately every 3 minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with a type of blood cancer. About 9.4 percent of new cancer cases in the U.S. in 2014 were expected to be a type of blood cancer.  And, there are currently an estimated 1,185,053 people in the U.S. are living with or in remission from a type of blood cancer.

There are three types of blood cancers that are most common:

Leukemia—cancer that is found in the blood or bone marrow

Lymphoma—cancer of the lymphatic system

Myeloma—cancer found in plasma cells

Each of these 3 types of blood cancers are more or less common among different demographics of people. For example, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma are among the most common types of cancer in children and adolescents under the age of 20, while myeloma is rarely diagnosed in anyone under the age of 45.

Because of the widespread impact of blood cancer diagnoses, it’s important to raise awareness, not just during Blood Cancer Awareness Month every September, but all year long. Part of raising awareness of this group of cancers means learning more about the full experience of living with this diagnosis—from physical symptoms to the social, emotional and financial impact. To achieve this, we’re inviting everyone who has ever been touched by a blood cancer diagnosis to become a member of our Cancer Experience Registry to share their unique experience to help us better understand the unique needs of this community. Anyone with any type of blood cancer is invited to join our general Cancer Experience Registry, but there are also several sub-registries aimed at collecting the experiences of people with specific diagnoses.

One of these sub-registries is the Cancer Experience Registry: Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). CML is a type of cancer that starts in certain blood-forming cells (myeloid cells) of the bone marrow. This diagnosis is referred to as chronic because it tends to progress more slowly than other forms of leukemia. CML is most common in older adults, but can occur at any age. If you have ever been diagnosed with CML, help us learn more about how the CML experience by sharing your own journey with us here.

The other sub-registry is for people impacted by chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). CLL is another type of chronic leukemia that also forms in certain white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the blood marrow. Most people with CLL do not show any symptoms for at least a year, and this diagnosis is also most prevalent in older adults. To help us learn more about the impact of CLL, become a member of the Cancer Experience Registry: CLL here.

Are you or a loved one impacted by blood cancer? What do you want others to know about your diagnosis, and what do you do to raise awareness? Weigh in on our Facebook page here with the hashtag #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth.