Blood cancers second most common, deadly

Tiffanie Turnbull
·1-min read

Every day in Australia on average 47 people are diagnosed with blood cancer and 15 die of the affliction.

The category of cancer, which includes leukaemia, is now the second most diagnosed and second most deadly cancer in Australia.

They also account for more than 40 per cent of childhood cancer diagnoses.

With an "extraordinary" 30 per cent increase in diagnoses in the past decade, those numbers will only trend up, Leukaemia Foundation chief executive Chris Tanti says.

"Last year alone, 17,321 people were diagnosed with a blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma, and we know that come 2035, more than twice as many Australians will be diagnosed with one annually," he said in a statement.

He's appealing for Australians to give generously to the organisation's 23rd Shave for a Cure campaign, after the COVID-19 pandemic punched a massive hole in their coffers.

With many diagnoses missed during the pandemic, it is one of the many reasons the organisation needs a top-up of funds.

"Blood cancer symptoms can sometimes be subtle or similar to other conditions such as a virus, often making it a silent disease that can be tricky to catch - but if it remains unchecked, the consequences can be devastating," Mr Tanti said.

"The reality is blood cancer doesn't stop for a global pandemic and we know for every day since COVID-19 began, another 47 Australians would have developed blood cancer even if they don't yet know it."

"There has never been a more vital time to get behind the World's Greatest Shave to raise much-needed funds for the Leukaemia Foundation to continue answering the call of families across the country impacted by this complex set of diseases."