In addition to Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, September also helps promote awareness for leukemia and lymphoma, two diseases that are not well understood by the public. If you started asking anyone around you about either of these types of cancer, we’d be willing to wager that their responses would probably be vague at best. With that in mind, National Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month helps shed some light on these two hematologic malignancies.
It is important to keep the public up to date on the latest prevention, screening, and treatment options available for both leukemia and lymphoma. Without this knowledge, how are you supposed to be able to curb your risk of developing either one of these diseases or ensure the best possible outcome from treatment? The answer is that you’re not. Unfortunately, most people are interested in learning about this information until they are directly affected by one of these diseases.
How Common are Leukemia and Lymphoma?
Every four minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with a type of blood cancer, such as lymphoma or leukemia. According to the American Cancer Society’s estimates, there could be close to 50,000 Americans diagnosed with leukemia in 2013, and an estimated 22,000 people will succumb to this illness within the same amount of time. For lymphoma, just under 80,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year, and about 21,000 people are expected to die from their illness.
Leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma can all affect the patient’s bone marrow, blood cells, lymph nodes, and other portions of the lymphatic system.
Looking For Better Treatments
During the last part of the 20th century, we started seeing significant improvements in the treatments applied for these blood cancers, largely as a result of improved chemotherapy. Cancer clinical trials helped develop new drugs, while also establishing new uses for accepted drugs. This helped improve the rate at which blood cancers could be cured and forced into remission.
Do you remember that September is also Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month? Well, leukemia happens to be the second most common form of cancer diagnosed in children. In particular, acute lymphatic leukemia accounts for nearly 75 percent of all pediatric leukemia cases.
The Origins of Blood Cancer Still a Mystery
Not to be pessimistic, but most cases of lymphoma and leukemia cannot be prevented. Scientists still has a long way to go when it comes to these two hematologic malignancies, since we still have not been able to identify what causes them. It’s an uphill climb, but the events held during National Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month help raise more funding for research.
If you are interested in getting involved, there are a plethora of opportunities awaiting for you. For instance, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) provides many creative and fun ways for local communities to get involved in charitable fundraising events. Whatever your personal interest may be, they want to help you take the steps to get involved, help expedite the path to a cure, and have some fun while you are it.