Blood cancer is the most common type of cancer in children and young people - in fact everyday in the UK 27 people are diagnosed with leukaemia and sadly 12 people die.
Leukaemia & Myeloma Research UK wants to eradicate cancer of the blood once and for all. One of the ways we’re aiming to achieve that is through advancing our understanding of stem cells and how we can use them to treat blood cancer patients, particularly through stem cell transplants.
Blood cancer is complicated. Despite it being the 5th most common cancer in the UK, with over 100 known types many of which are extremely rare, most people’s understanding of it and of treatments remains poor. In fact, recent monitoring on our social media channels demonstrated that just under half of our Facebook followers had not heard of cord blood stem cell banking and did not understand the benefits of storing cord blood stem cells.
We wanted to provide patients of blood cancer with a clear and informative information that would answer their questions, explain terminology, discuss treatments so they are better prepared and able to make informed choices.
The brochure we are seeking funding for will highlight the signs and symptoms of blood cancer and our information guide explores what blood cancer is and how it can be diagnosed. Includes information on the following topics:
- Understanding Blood cancer: leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma
- Understanding Stem Cells
- Stem cell transplantation
- Cord Blood Banks
This closely links to our service of offering free or heavily subsidised stem cell banking to families who have a history of cancer in their family, and are in receipt of welfare or on low income. The goal is to offer vulnerable families the opportunity to store their baby’s cord blood for twenty-five years, which will be available should the child or another member of the family require them. These cells are taken from the umbilical cord at the time of birth.
Embryonic stem cells are undifferentiated, allowing them to be used in all parts of the body, giving them the potential to cure hundreds of diseases. They also reduce the need for animal testing. Although not our primary objective, we are aware of the huge potential of having a bank of stem cells which can be used to treat blood cancers, as well so many other diseases and illnesses. The longevity of these cells has proved they are as good 30 years later as on the day they were first extracted and stored. This alone offers huge potential for treatments and cures well into the future, saving the NHS money and resources.