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29% of those who care for a loved one with cancer do so for at least 39 hours a week

More than 2,000 people a year across Ireland are diagnosed with a form of blood cancer.

Image: Shutterstock/sfam_photo

NEW FIGURES HAVE indicated that 29% of people who care for a loved one with cancer do so for at least the equivalent of a full working week (39 hours).

Some people said they spent more than 45 hours per week caring for someone close to them who has cancer.

The research was released today as part of a campaign to increase awareness of blood cancer as part of Blood Cancer Awareness Month. 

The Make Blood Cancer Visible campaign, a collaboration between the Irish Cancer Society, Multiple Myeloma Ireland, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia Ireland and Janssen Sciences Ireland, aims to generate more awareness of blood cancers and support those affected by the disease.

The campaign ambassador Louise McSharry who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2014 said:

“I know from my own blood cancer journey, how much my husband Gordon’s help and support meant to me and how important it is for people going through diagnosis and treatment to have the support of partners, relatives and friends to help them through this scary and difficult time.”

Professor Peter O’Gorman, Director of Pathology and Consultant Haematologist at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital said that “huge strides” have been made in the treatment of many blood cancers.

For example Multiple Myeloma survival has doubled in the last three years because of new treatments. A network of Irish haematologists is collaborating with the top global centres to bring access to the best new treatments for Irish patients.

“The message is one of hope and progress for patients with blood cancer in Ireland.”

The Make Blood Cancer Visible campaign has a video series that advises people on where they can avail of further supports – you can find those videos here.

Blood cancer is an umbrella term for cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system. Most types of blood cancer are rare, life-threatening conditions with small patient populations.

There are over 140 different types of blood cancers, which can be classified into three main groups, leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Together, they comprise nearly 10% of all cancers, with more than 2,000 people across Ireland diagnosed annually.

Blood cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death in Ireland.

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