LLS Survey Shows Lack of Blood Cancer Awareness in the United States

Alison Rodriguez

A recent survey by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) found that the majority of adults are surprised by the prevalence of blood cancers—specifically the prevalence of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) among children and young adults.
LLS, the world’s largest voluntary non-profit, investigated the awareness of Americans on the impact of blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. The survey revealed that more than 4 in 5 adults (82%) are surprised that blood cancer is the third leading cancer in terms of mortality.
“As there are no means of preventing or screening for most blood cancers, we are focused on finding cures and ensuring that patients have access to lifesaving treatments,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, PhD, president and CEO of LLS. “During Blood Cancer Awareness Month, we drive home the urgent unmet need presented by the blood cancers.”
Additionally, the survey demonstrated that almost 4 in 5 adults (78%) are surprised that ALL is the most common cancer among those under 20 years old. While leukemia was revealed to be the most well-known among adults (72%), only 24% associated lymphoma with being a blood cancer and only 12% related myeloma as a blood cacner.
“With LLS’s support we’ve seen remarkable progress in just the past few years, and 2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for new blood cancer therapies” because of FDA approvals, explained DeGennaro.
Furthermore, 86% of people that participated in the survey were surprised that there are no ways of preventing or screenings for most blood cancers and 82% were surprised that more than one-third of blood cancer patients do not survive more than 5 years following diagnosis. The researchers emphasized the importance to change this as more than 1.3 million Americans are living with or in remission from blood cancer, while a new patient is diagnosed every 3 minutes in the United States, and someone dies every 9 minutes, according to the report.
“Earlier this year, after 4 decades with no change in the standard of care for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), one of the most deadly forms of blood cancer, 3 new therapies were approved by the FDA. In the past 4 years, new therapies were approved for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and myeloma,” concluded DeGennaro. “We’re closer than ever to cures.”
The LLS hoped to create more awareness of blood cancers during its Blood Cancer Awareness Month campaign was intended to encourage people around in the world to fight blood cancer in September.
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