According to a report by the Irish Examiner, one in three people spend at least 45 hours or more caring for a someone living with cancer. Despite this being a commitment rivaling a career, one in five continues to hold a job while doing so. This research came to light after Blood Cancer Awareness month. Now a new campaign is launching called Make Blood Cancer Visible. Keep reading to learn more, or follow the original story here for more information.
Awareness and Support
The campaign is a collaboration. It brings together, for the first time, the Irish Cancer Society, Multiple Myeloma Ireland, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Ireland, and Janssen Sciences Ireland. Together, the groups possess an incredible knowledge base and ability to assist patients with a variety of conditions.
Louise McSharry is the campaign’s ambassador. She knows first hand what living with blood cancer can look like. In 2014, McSharry received a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She said the support of her husband, friends, and family were crucial to her cancer journey. The same study that estimated the number of hours carers invested in patients reported that nine out of 10 people living with blood cancer highly value the care they receive.
Peter O’Gorman is a consultant with the project. He works as a hematologist. Describing the progress made in treatment, O’Gorman says the message is one of hope. Progress is being made in significant ways. As a result of new treatments, multiple myeloma survival rates have doubled in just three years.
Another group at Queen’s University Belfast recently announced a development regarding bowel cancer. The new therapy the group tested claims to be able to kill certain aggressive cancer cells. It uses the nature of the cancer’s own cells against it.
Taken as a whole, it means progress is being made rapidly in the development of new cancer therapies. Break-throughs occur more often now than in the entire history of medicine. It is hard to tell what is around the corner. What is certain is that without awareness none of this would be possible. Without advocates and caregivers, we would not be where we are today. Campaigns like Make Blood Cancer Visible change not only the way we think about certain conditions, but the way we treat them, both literally and figuratively.