-The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society launches national education campaign during
Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September -
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Aug. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Less than one half (46%) of
adults polled in a new survey believe that blood cancers are one of three
leading causes of cancer death in the U.S. In fact, blood cancers are the third
leading cause of cancer death, behind cancers of the respiratory system,
including lung cancer, and cancers of the digestive system, including colorectal
cancer.1 The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was commissioned by The Leukemia &
Lymphoma Society (LLS), the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to
finding cures and providing access to treatments for blood cancer patients.
This study reveals an alarming lack of knowledge among adults of all ages across
the country about blood cancers, including forms of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma,
and other blood cancers. Four in five adults (82%) were surprised to learn that
more than 1 million U.S. adults are currently living with a blood cancer.
Further, nearly nine in 10 adults (87%) were surprised to learn that about every
four minutes one person in the US is diagnosed with a blood cancer; and nearly
nine in 10 (86%) polled were surprised to learn that approximately every 10
minutes someone in the U.S. dies from a blood cancer.
"We conducted this survey to create awareness about blood cancers, and to drive
home the need to focus on cures and access to therapies for blood cancer
patients," states John Walter, LLS CEO & president. "As there are no means of
preventing or early detection for most blood cancers, we must focus on cures.
Blood Cancer Awareness Month is the right platform to create a sense of urgency
about the need to continue investing in lifesaving treatments and cures."
Investing in Cures
Over about 60 years, LLS has invested almost $1 billion in research to advance
therapies and save lives, yet three in four adults (76%) were surprised to learn
that LLS research grants have helped advance many of the most promising advances
in cancer therapies, including targeted therapies and immunotherapies.
Further, about three-quarters of adults polled (76%) believe it's up to the
government, private industry and drug companies to fund cures for cancers,
including blood cancers. As well, nearly nine in 10 adults (86%) were surprised
to learn that promising treatments for some chronic diseases, including
rheumatoid arthritis, were initially tested and FDA-approved as treatments for
"LLS is changing the paradigm of philanthropy, driving research in areas of
unmet medical need, and helping to bridge the gap between academic discovery and
drug development," states Walter. "We do that by creating partnerships with
universities and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to provide funding
across the continuum from basic research through clinical trials."
Access to Treatments
"Therapies that don't make it to patients can't help them," states Mark Velleca,
M.D., Ph.D., LLS chief policy and advocacy officer. "A key LLS priority is
ensuring access to quality, affordable, coordinated care for blood cancer
patients." LLS recently announced it has raised more than $200 million in
funding for its Co-Pay Assistance Program, since its inception in 2007. To date,
LLS has helped approximately 36,000 patients through the co-pay program.
"With the looming implementation of the Affordable Care Act, LLS is uniquely
positioned to be the voice for blood cancer patients, by providing education and
guidance to patients as they navigate the new state exchanges. LLS has a strong
presence in Washington, D.C., advocating for patients directly with national and
state policy makers," explains Velleca.
Additional Survey Findings Include:
-- Sixty-three percent (63%) polled think breast cancer is among the top
three causes of cancer deaths, 27% think it's the number one cancer
killer. In fact, respiratory system cancers are the leading cancer
killer, followed by digestive system cancers, then blood cancers, with
breast cancer being the fourth leading cancer killer. 2
-- Nearly all Americans (97%) polled agree it's important for all blood
cancer patients to have access to potentially life-saving treatments.
-- Almost three in 10 adults who are aware of LLS (29%) associated the
organization with funding research. More than one-fifth of those adults
aware of LLS (22%) associated the organization with providing
help/information, specifically to people diagnosed with blood cancers,
including leukemia and/or lymphoma.
"Despite progress, more than a third of blood cancer patients still do not
survive five years after their diagnosis, so more funding is needed to advance
research, ensure access to treatments and help save more lives," Walter says.
"I'm gratified that nearly all adults polled agree it's just as important to
fund cures for blood cancers as it is for other types of cancers. LLS is leading
the way in funding research to advance breakthrough therapies and ensure access
to treatments for all blood cancer patients. LLS is saving lives not someday,
The survey was conducted online for LLS by Russell Research from July 26 - 31,
2013 among 1,007 adults ages 18 and older. The margin of error was +/- 3.1
Learn more about the LLS mission, get involved with one of our fundraising
campaigns or donate to LLS directly. Visit www.LLS.org and Facts 2013, published
by LLS at www.lls.org/resourcecenter to learn more.
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (R) (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary
health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia,
lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of
patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around
the world and provides free information and support services.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters
throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org.
Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572,
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
1 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2013. Atlanta: American Cancer
2 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2013. Atlanta: American Cancer
SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society