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September is Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Awareness Month

Tremendous advances have been made to treat blood cancer but the battle is

far from won

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Remarkable progress has been made in treating patients with blood cancers. Sixty years ago there were few effective treatments for children or adults with blood cancer and the rate of survival was very low. Today, about 75 percent of children with acute leukemia and nearly 80 percent of children and adults with Hodgkin lymphoma are cured. Improved therapies and stem cell transplantation have dramatically improved survival rates for most blood cancers, and even patients with diseases resistant to treatment, such as myeloma, are benefiting from new drugs that are increasing the rate and duration of remissions.

Yet, more than three quarters of a million people in the United States currently have some form of blood cancer. Every ten minutes someone dies from a blood cancer and an estimated 52,310 will die from one this year.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a beacon of help and guidance to those touched by blood cancer and each September the Society observes Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Awareness Month, to shed light on these diseases and let the public know that there are resources available for blood cancer patients and their families.

"Awareness Month is an opportunity to increase the public's understanding of blood cancers and encourage people to support the funding of research to find cures and education programs to help patients have the best possible outcomes throughout their cancer experience," said Dwayne Howell, the Society's President and CEO.

Since its inception in 1949, the Society has invested more than $550 million in research to find cures and better therapies, and funded $64.9 million in 2007 alone. The Society supports investigators' efforts to find new molecular targets for treatment and potential immunotherapies, and helps them translate their laboratory findings into more effective therapies for patients.

Through its patient services programs, the Society offers a comprehensive array of education and support services to blood cancer patients and their families There are family support groups, patient education workshops featuring health experts, and First Connection - a peer-to-peer support program that matches newly diagnosed patients with trained volunteer survivors. A back to school program help children treated for cancer transition back to school. The Society also provides financial assistance to patients with significant financial need and an insurance co-pay assistance program.

The Society's web site -- is the definitive resource for information about blood cancers and its Information Resource Center (IRC) is a call center staffed by master's level social workers, nurses and health educators who provide information, support and resources to patients and their families and caregivers. IRC information specialists are available at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society(R), headquartered in White Plains, NY, with 68 chapters in the United States and Canada, is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. The Society's mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, the Society has invested more than $550 million in research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Last year alone, the Society made 4.2 million contacts with patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

Contact: Andrea Greif


SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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