RESEARCH by the Leukemia Foundation has shown that more than 17,300 people will be diagnosed with a blood cancer every year.
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Sadly more than 5,600 people will lose their lives to these diseases, making this one of Australia’s biggest causes of cancer death.
Last year, the Leukaemia Foundation released the State of the Nation Blood Cancer in Australia report which revealed a 13 percent gap in survival rates between patients in regional areas like Coffs Harbour and metropolitan areas.
The quality of and access to cancer treatment services in Coffs Harbour is extremely high, with one of the most modern treatment centres in the state located at the base hospital.
However, one in four of patients living in regional areas also didn’t know where to go if they had more questions about their blood cancer.
By breaking down regional barriers and removing variations in access to best practice treatment and care in regional areas, Australia could minimise mortality and potentially save up to 22,000 lives by 2035.
Leukaemia Foundation General Manager for Blood Cancer Partnerships Tim Murphy said, “What we know is that sadly, your chances of surviving a blood cancer can depend on where you live.
“Regional blood cancer patients are facing barriers to accessing specialist care and crucial diagnostics, and these barriers are influencing their survival outcomes. It is the Leukaemia Foundation’s priority to break down these barriers,” Mr Murphy said.
The Federal Government has just released the National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancer, a first of-its-kind report to unite Australia towards a goal of zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035.
“Ending the postcode lottery faced by regional patients and turning the tables on blood cancer in this country is a priority for us and we look forward to supporting the implementation of the National Action Plan to work towards this outcome,” said Mr Murphy.
The Leukemia Foundations annual ‘Light the Night’ fundraiser will take place on Saturday 10 October under different conditions due to pandemic restrictions, with Osher Gunsberg, presenter of the TV series The Bachelor Australia,
The Bachelorette Australia and Bachelor in Paradise Australia confirmed as the host of the virtual ‘Light the Night’ event, for more information go to https://lightthenight.org.au/.
By David TUNE