EVERY year 1375 Australians unnecessarily die from blood cancer, so the Leukaemia Foundation has launched a new campaign in a bid to save lives.
Leukaemia Foundation chief executive Chris Tanti said the Set the Standard campaign aimed to ensure all Australians had access to the best blood cancer diagnosis, treatment and care.
"By the end of today another 50 Australians will be told they have blood cancer and sadly, almost four will needlessly die because of the inconsistencies in care based on where a patient lives," Mr Tanti said.
He said setting national standards ensuring all Australian patients got the same access to the best treatment could prevent needless deaths.
"We are fortunate to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world, but that doesn't mean much to a patient and their loved ones when there are inconsistencies in access to treatment across various parts of Australia."
The campaign is the first phase of the National Strategic Action Plan, which has been developed by Australia's leading haematologists, researchers, patients and cancer care experts.
The plan aims to save thousands of lives from blood cancer by 2035.
Statistics show there is a big difference in how patients are treated throughout Australia, with a 13 per cent disparity in survival outcomes based on where a patient lives.
According to a recent study, the risk of death from some blood cancer decreases by 40 per cent when clinical best practice is applied.
This study found that people who received treatment outside metropolitan areas were 37 per cent less likely to receive treatment that complied with current guidelines.
"We have made huge strides in treating blood cancer, we can't afford to stop now," Mr Tanti said.
"The community can help us get there by adding their name to our national map and set the standard of having the best treatment available to everyone."
Symptoms of blood cancers can be subtle or similar to other conditions, but may include recurrent infections, increased fatigue, night sweats, bone pain, bruising or enlarged lymph nodes.
Early diagnosis can be key to survival and potential symptoms should be discussed with a doctor immediately.
To show support by putting your name to the campaign click here.
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