World Blood Donor Day on 14 June, and Rosemary Worthington discusses with Geoff Nyssen how important research and clinical trials are and how we can play a part in the fight against cancer.

While 41 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancer everyday, shockingly less than a third of blood cancer patients have access to critical genomic testing that provides crucial insights into treatments.

With one third of donated red blood cells in Australia being used to treat people with cancer and other blood diseases, blood donations are critical for blood cancer patients. However, research into blood cancer is just as important to help find a cure through clinical trials, genomic testing and new treatments.

Clinical trials give blood cancer patients hope

  • Blood cancers (myeloma, leukaemia and lymphoma) are the third leading cause of cancer death in Australia with 41 Australians diagnosed every day.
  • Less than a third of blood cancer patients have access to genomic testing that provides crucial insights into treatments
  • This World Blood Donor Day (14 June), Snowdome Foundation is urging Aussies to donate to blood cancer research to buy more time for blood cancer patients

Blood cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australia and the third leading cause of cancer death. Making this even harder to comprehend, is the fact that blood cancers cannot be prevented or detected through routine screenings. This makes finding effective treatments through blood cancer research all the more important.

Blood donations are critical for blood cancer patients, with one third of donated red cells in Australia being used to help treat people with cancer and other blood diseases[3]. However, research into blood cancer will provide patients with the best opportunity to cure their blood cancer through clinical trials, genomic testing and cutting-edge treatments.

In Australia, less than a third (30%) of blood cancer patients have access to testing that provides crucial insights for treatments. Genomic testing and tracking of markers not only changes and better informs treatment plans for 60% of blood cancer patients, in some cases it helps them avoid unnecessary chemotherapy.

Research shows that patients have better outcomes when they are part of a clinical trial.  For blood cancer patients access to a trial is often a second chance at life as it provides access to new treatments before they are available in Australia. Clinical trials buy blood cancer patients time, time with loved ones, and time for more treatments to be developed.

Blood cancer does not discriminate, young or old, male or female, 41 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancer every day. So, this World Blood Donor Day, the Snowdome Foundation is thanking those who give blood and encouraging those who say ‘nope!’ to needles to show their support and make a donation to the Snowdome Foundation to buy more time for blood cancer patients.

For more information, visit www.snowdome.org.au

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