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Every three minutes, someone in the US is diagnosed. More than 1.1 million Americans are living with, or in remission from, these diseases.

Certain forms of these diseases are the most common types of cancer in children and adolescents younger than 20 years. Almost 150,000 Americans will be diagnosed with these cancers this year. There are few, if any, means of preventing or early screening for these cancers.

You might be surprised to learn that these statistics refer to blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndromes.

That's why The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is ramping up efforts to create urgency for our quest to find cures for blood cancers and ensure patients have access to treatments, with a public call to action during September, Blood Cancer Awareness Month, to raise $300,000 in 30 days. According to Louis J. DeGennaro, PhD, LLS interim president & CEO and chief mission officer, "In our 65 year history, LLS has invested more than $1 billion in research to advance cancer therapies and save lives. Survival rates since the early 1960s have doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled, thanks to research and access to better treatments. But there is more work to be done. Despite this progress, more than one third of blood cancer patients still do not survive five years after their diagnosis. To achieve our goal of a world without blood cancers, we must do more to invest in research to find cures. We need your help."

Other LLS blood cancer facts that might surprise you:

>>Stem cell transplantation was first used as a treatment for leukemia patients.

>>LLS helped advance therapies for myeloma and lymphoma patients, and some of these drugs are also being tested for patients with other cancers.

>>Nearly 40 percent of new cancer therapies approved by the FDA between 2000 and 2013 were first approved for blood cancer patients.

>>LLS has helped advance laws in more than half of the states to ensure coverage and payment parity for cancer medications, regardless of how or where administered.

"Since the early 1960s, we have achieved tremendous progress in improving survival rates for many blood cancer patients," states DeGennaro. "In that time, cures for many patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and Hodgkin lymphoma have been achieved, and the five-year survival rate for children with ALL jumped from 3 percent in 1964 to approximately 90 percent in 2014.

"Join us in the fight against blood cancers," urges DeGennaro. "Patients desperately need new therapies not someday, but today. So please don't wait. Raise your hand. Declare your support. Donate now and help us reach our goal to raise $300,000 in 30 days during Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Help us make someday, today, for patients with blood cancers."

Donate today!
Do more than raise awareness of blood cancer this month; help LLS reach our goal of $300,000 in 30 days. Visit lls.org, donate, and help save lives.

Source: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

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