Another September is here, which means we get to commemorate another Blood Cancer Awareness month. As you tell your friends and family about this special month, here are some key points about why we have this month:
What is Blood Cancer Awareness Month?
Blood Cancer Awareness Month, observed in September each year, is a campaign aimed at raising awareness about various types of blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. The goal of this awareness month is to educate the public about these diseases, their symptoms, risk factors, treatment options, and the importance of early detection.
Is Myeloma a Blood Cancer? What Makes Blood Cancers Different?
Blood cancers, unlike solid tumors, affect the cells and components of the blood and bone marrow, which play a crucial role in carrying oxygen, fighting infections, and overall immune function. There are different types of blood cancers, and they can be classified into three main categories:
Leukemia: Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that affects the bone marrow and blood. It results in the production of abnormal white blood cells, which disrupt the normal functioning of the immune system. Leukemia can be acute (progresses rapidly) or chronic (develops slowly).
Lymphoma: Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in the lymphatic system, which is a part of the immune system. It primarily involves the lymph nodes and lymphoid tissues. There are two main types: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Myeloma: Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a cancer that forms in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell. It mainly affects bone marrow and bone health, causing symptoms like bone pain, fractures, and anemia.
How is Blood Cancer Awareness Month Observed?
During Blood Cancer Awareness Month, various organizations, patient advocacy groups, healthcare professionals, and individuals come together to promote activities such as educational seminars, fundraising events, public service announcements, social media campaigns, and wearing specific colors (like orange for leukemia and red for myeloma) to show support for those affected by blood cancers.
Raising awareness about blood cancers is crucial for encouraging early diagnosis and access to appropriate medical care. It also helps in dispelling myths and misconceptions surrounding these diseases and empowers patients and their families with information that can assist them in making informed decisions about treatment and support.
What is the HealthTree Foundation Doing to Observe Blood Cancer Awareness 2023?
This year, the HealthTree Foundation is focusing on educating the community about the amazing innovation that has occurred throughout the history of myeloma. We want to help our community understand the possibility of living a long and relatively healthy life with myeloma.
Stay tuned for educational content on the history of myeloma innovation, clinical trials (debunking myths!), and an exciting, upcoming announcement about how we are taking HealthTree Foundation to the next level to expand our reach and replicate our successes.
Share our September content via social media, email, or word of mouth to your family and friends as you share about how myeloma is a disease worth fighting- with new trials and treatment becoming rapidly available. There's hope with a multiple myeloma diagnosis!
Key Multiple Myeloma Programs to Access This Month
- Track your myeloma labs through HealthTree Cure Hub to stay ahead of your disease
- Educate yourself and your loved ones through HealthTree University
- Connect 1:1 with a patient or caregiver Coach who understands what you are going through
- Refresh what you've learned through past Myeloma Educational Webinars
- Search for a Myeloma Specialist on our Directory
- Register for the Recording of the Boston Round Table to learn more about myeloma
about the author
Audrey is the Editor for the HealthTree Foundation for Multiple Myeloma. She originally joined the HealthTree Foundation in 2020 as the Myeloma Community Program Director. While not knowing much about myeloma initially, she worked hard to educate herself, empathize and learn from others' experiences. She loves this job. Audrey is passionate about serving others, loves learning, and enjoys iced chais from Dutch Bros. She also loves spending time with her supportive husband and energetic three-year-old.