I don't often bring my work life onto the blog, when I do it's usually just a passing comment when I round up my month and share what I got up to. And it's even more rare that I put up a post when it's not Wednesday or Sunday. But I really wanted to share this campaign with you, with as many people as I can, with everyone.
September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Blood cancer is so much more than just leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma also make up the three overarching groups of blood cancer but there are over 100 different types of blood cancer. Blood cancer can affect anyone at any age and any lifestyle, but it's the most common cancer in children and young adults. Blood cancer the third biggest cancer killer in the UK, 14 000 people every year lose their battle with blood cancer - that's 38 people every day (and more than breast cancer and prostate cancer). Blood cancer is is the fifth most common cancer, 38 000 people are diagnosed every year - that's one person every 14 minutes. These statistics baffle me, blood cancer is touches so many people's lives but people are so under-informed about it. I suppose it doesn't help that the symptoms of blood cancer are so generic - tiredness, fever, infection - all things that could be passed off as just a cold.
As a biomedical scientist in haematology, blood cancer is something that I see on a daily basis, whether it be issuing blood products for blood cancer patients when I'm in Blood Transfusion or when I'm looking down the microscope at a blood film from a GP patient and see blast cells (immature white blood cells that shouldn't be in the peripheral blood) indicating that this patient could potentially be about to be diagnosed with leukaemia. So obviously, Blood Cancer Awareness Month is something that's very close to me and something I feel really strongly about.
There's one story in particular that has made me want to sit down and write this post. Noah's. When I started working in the lab everyone said that there would be patients who I'd remember forever, Noah will definitely be one of them. I was working the Sunday shift when Noah was admitted to A&E and he suddenly, tragically passed away whilst there. He was only four years old. Noah was the son of one of our Haematology consultants and a group of my colleagues from Haematology are trekking up Snowdon in memory of Noah and to raise money for Bloodwise in his name. It's a long shot but if anyone would like to donate then here's the link.
If you'd like some information on blood cancer then here's the link to Bloodwise's information page, they've got a really comprehensive information section on understanding blood cancers. If you want to read more about their campaign for Blood Cancer Awareness Month then here's the link for that too.
*information, statistics and info-graphic taken from Bloodwise.org.uk - this post is in no way affiliated with the charity - I just want to try to help raise awareness about blood cancer via writing this post