Bright Red registered the month in the UK a few years ago with the hope of uniting blood cancer charities together in the fight against blood cancers. Treating blood cancers, and one day curing blood cancers, requires a team effort. It’s wonderful to see that this year there’s so much going on to help raise awareness.
Blood cancers don’t discriminate and can affect anyone at anytime. Symptoms of these diseases can often be put down to something else. A shocking 33% of cases are diagnosed via emergency admissions. Early diagnosis can make all the difference when it comes to treatment. Leukaemia Care’s “Be Blood Cancer Aware” campaign is a fantastic step in the right direction. You can learn more about it here : http://www.leukaemiacare.org.uk/blood-cancer-awareness-month.
Blood cancers can be extremely complex. Some patients will require a bone marrow/stem cell transplant as part of their treatment. For many, a transplant will be their only chance of a cure.
With a significant proportion of transplants now involving unrelated donors, raising awareness of the transplant process is vital. Many potential donors are afraid of the donating, however 90% of people donate their stem cells in a quick and easy process, which is similar to giving blood.
Anthony Nolan, Delete Blood Cancer and the NHS Blood and Transplant service all actively recruit potential donors to the bone marrow register. With thousands of patients worldwide still looking for their match, it’s important we keep encouraging healthy, able donors to join.
Patients undergoing treatment for blood cancer often require blood or platelet transfusions. With cancer diagnosis rates on the increase there’s a huge demand on blood donors, and yet only 4% of the able population donate blood.
We need more blood donors. By giving new recruits an understanding of why it’s so important, we hope that people will take the time to donate.
We do hope you’ll be able to participate in the month in some way. However large or small your participation may be, I can assure you it will help to make a difference. Whether you decide to give blood, join the stem cell register or fund raise to help the fight against blood cancer, your efforts will be greatly appreciated.
You can also come and join us on our Light Red Glow Stick Walk on Sunday 27 September. Everyone is welcome.