Blood Cancers: An Overview


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From Queens Library's expert-led panel, Cancer Awareness: What You Need to Know, featuring professionals from New York Hospital Queens, North Shore LIJ, the American Cancer Society, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

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Blood Cancers: An Overview

  1. 1. An Overview
  2. 2. Our History• The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was born out of a family’s grief following the death of their 16-year-old son from leukemia in 1944• In 1949, the de Villiers family started a fundraising and education organization in their son’s name• Their goal: to fund the best leukemia research being done anywhere in the world
  3. 3. Blood CancersMore than 1 million North Americans are fighting blood cancers, the thirdleading cause of cancer deaths.Early detection is rare for blood cancers, and there are no measures that canbe taken to prevent the onset of these diseases.Approximately every four minutes someone in North America is diagnosedwith a blood cancer; every 10 minutes someone dies.
  4. 4. Our Mission Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
  5. 5. IncidenceLeukemia• Leukemia is the most common cancer in children less than 20 years old• Roughly 260,000 Americans have leukemia, with an estimated 43,050 new cases this year• The leukemia death rate for children 0-14 years old in the United States has declined 76% over the past 30 years
  6. 6. IncidenceMyeloma• About 70,000 Americans are living with myeloma• The median age of diagnosis is 70; myeloma rarely occurs in people under age 45• Incidence of myeloma in black men and women was 105 percent greater than the incidence in whites
  7. 7. IncidenceLymphoma• More than 628,415 Americans have lymphoma, contributing to 54% of all blood cancers• Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the seventh most common cancer in the U.S., and its age-adjusted incidence rose by nearly 82 percent from 1975 to 2007• Hodgkin lymphoma has a higher incidence rate in adolescents and young adults, and cure rates are more than 96.2%
  8. 8. How We Do It• 61 chapters across North America• 2.2 million social network contacts• 2.6 million email subscribers• Over 10 million volunteers and donors• “Best in Class” fundraising: Team In Training; Light The Night Walk; School & Youth programs; Man & Woman of the Year
  9. 9. Our Organization Patient Services Research Professional Programs Education Public Policy Volunteers Community Services
  10. 10. Education ServicesThe Information Resource Center• Toll-free call center staffed by master’s level oncology nurses, social workers, health educators• Accurate, current treatment and coping information, and referrals to resources• Clinical trials search service tailored to individual patients• Translations in more than 165 languages• Support can be reached at (800) 955-4572 Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm or via e-mail at• 69,777 inquiries in 2011
  11. 11. Education ServicesOnline Engagement• Our website serves a wide variety of education and information needs• Provides current information regarding disease specific updates and local chapter education, support, and event activities• 5.8 million visits online in 2011, with more than 7.5 million page views• 208,822 subscribers to our disease specific eNewsletters, which are issued on a monthly basis
  12. 12. Education ServicesFree Materials• An extensive catalog of education materials is offered free-of-charge to patients and healthcare professionals• Each year, LLS distributes booklets, brochures, fact sheets, education program transcripts and DVDs through the Information Resource Center and local LLS chapters• 1,061,018 printed booklets, brochures, fact sheets, education program transcripts and DVDs distributed in 2011
  13. 13. Back To SchoolPediatric Program• Helps children transition from active treatment back to school• Increases communication among healthcare professionals, parents, patients and school personnelProfessional Education Program• Staying Connected: Facilitating the Learning Experience During and After Cancer Treatment
  14. 14. Advocacy: What We Do• Advocate nationally and locally for legislation that will improve the quality of life of patients and their families• Work to ensure effective, federally-funded biomedical research• Enhance the quality of cancer care• Educate and mobilize volunteers to take action
  15. 15. Office Of Public Policy• More than 55,000 advocacy volunteers in LLS Grassroots Advocates Network nationwide. NYC recruited 431 new volunteers in FY’2011 with over 2,000 advocates in our network locally• Each year, supporters travel to Albany and DC to share with elected representatives the impacts of blood cancer on millions of Americans, and urge responsible policies that will address the threatening burdens of these diseases
  16. 16. Legislative PrioritiesState Initiatives• Support Insurance Coverage of Oral Chemotherapy (A.6233B, Lopez/ S.3988B). Bill was signed into law by Governor Cuomo September 2011• Support the Clinical Trial Access and Education Fund (A.807/Gottfried)• Support legislation to prohibit insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) from imposing discriminatory cost-sharing, co-payments, or deductibles on high-priced prescription drugs used to treat chronic, debilitating or life-threatening diseases (A.8278A Kellner/ S.5000A Duane). Bill was signed into law by Governor Patterson in October 2010.Federal Initiatives• Support of $4.7 million in funding for the CDC’s blood cancer education program• Support of $100 million to implement the NIH’s Cures Accelerate Network to enhance and speed the discovery and development of new therapies• Co-Sponsor the Preserving Access of Life-Saving Medications Act (S.296) to help alleviate life-threatening drug shortage problems
  17. 17. How We Can Help Patient and Family Support Programs Family Co-PaySupport Groups Assistance Information ProgramResource Center (877) 557-2672 Patti Robinson Patient Kaufmann First Connection Financial Program Aid
  18. 18. In The CommunityThe Patti Robinson Kaufmann First Connection• Links newly diagnosed patients with a trained peer volunteer with a similar diagnosis• 5,094 “First Connections” in 2011Family Support Groups• More than 825 volunteer facilitators with oncology backgrounds run more than 452 support groups nationwide• Each group guided by two volunteer oncology health professionals• 13,108 participants in 2011
  19. 19. Giving BackPatient Financial Aid• Stipend for up to $100 per year to help patients offset expenses for transportation as well as drug and treatment costs not covered by insurance• More than $43.5 million in Fiscal Year 2011 for financial aid and co-pay assistance.• 37,196 patients received financial aid in 2011Co-Pay Assistance Program• Patients are eligible for $5,000 - $10,000 in support for co-pay or premium assistance depending on their diagnosis• Eligibility: patients whose household income is at or within 500 percent above the US Federal Poverty guidelines• 10,985 patients received LLS Co-Pay Assistance in 2011
  20. 20. Investing in Research• LLS is the world’s largest nonprofit supporter of blood cancer research. In fiscal year 2011, LLS invested $76.7 million in nearly 400 blood cancer research projects around the world. LLS has invested more than $814 million in research since its inception• LLS funds exemplary projects across the entire research continuum, from basic laboratory science through clinical trials• LLS establishes business alliances with biotechnology companies and contract research organizations to help advance projects more quickly from the laboratory to clinical trials and to patients with cancer• LLS is working with partners to increase enrollment of patients in clinical trials in the communities where they live
  21. 21. Results That Matter• Since 1949, the survival rate for many blood cancer patients has doubled or tripled, and in some cases quadrupled• Forty years ago, a child’s chance of surviving leukemia was three percent; today, 9 out of 10 live thanks to advances supported by LLS• Hodgkin lymphoma patient survival rates have more than doubled to 88% since the 1960s• Survival rate for myeloma patients tripled in past decade
  22. 22. Research Works 88% AL d. Pe L
  23. 23. Not Just Blood Cancer• Critical treatment innovations such as radiation, chemotherapy, and stem- cell transplantation all started with blood cancer therapies• Nearly 50% (19 out of 39) of all cancer drugs approved by the Food & Drug Administration during the past decade were developed for blood cancer patients• Five have already been approved for patients with other cancers
  24. 24. Therapies that Help Other Patients Too• Gleevec – Used to treat patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, certain other blood cancers, gastrointestinal stromal tumors and fibrosarcomas, and being tested for patients with breast, nerve, brain, prostate, small cell lung and ovarian cancers, melanoma and other diseases.• Rituxan – Used to treats patients with follicular, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and patients with other types of blood cancers. It is also approved to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis and is being tested for other autoimmune diseases.• Velcade – Used to treat myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma patients, and being tested for patients with melanoma, kidney, lung, head-and-neck, thyroid and prostate cancers.
  25. 25. The Program• Team In Training® (TNT), the world’s largest sports endurance training program, will prepare you to run or walk a full or half marathon, complete a triathlon or a century (100-mile) bike ride. You will meet hundreds of other like-minded NY professionals who are out to train and have a good time; all while raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to support blood cancer research and patient services.The Benefits• A comprehensive 4-5 month training program• Certified coaches• Fundraising support and clinics• Fitness, gear, injury prevention & nutrition clinics• Free race entry• Travel accommodations and lodging for the event weekend
  26. 26. • LLS’s Light The Night Walk gathers friends, families, and all of those affected by blood cancer to participate in a two-to-three mile walk to support and raise funds for blood cancer research• Walks take place every year in almost 200 communities across the nation, with three separate walks hosted by New York City chapter, located in Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan• In 2010, NYC raised an outstanding $3.2 million dollars alone, about $45 million dollars were raised nationally. There were over 250,000 participates across the country
  27. 27. • The Pennies for Patients Program is an exciting and fun school-wide opportunity, which runs for three week period during the months of February and March• During this time, students years kindergarten through twelfth grade and their educators collect and donate spare change• Teachers are provided with educational materials including posters, collection containers, letters to students’ parents/guardians, and age- appropriate videos• Lesson plans, and additional incentives can be found at
  28. 28. • Man & Woman Of The Year is a spirited 10-week campaign to raise funds to help find cures for blood cancers• Candidates are nominated by their social and professional peers to compete to raise the most money in honor of local pediatric cancer patients, the Boy & Girl of the year• The male and female candidates who raise the most funds during the campaign will be given the Man & Woman of the Year award
  29. 29. Contact InformationThe Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, New York City Chapter475 Park Avenue South, 8th FloorNew York, NY 10016Tel. (212) 376-5140Fax (212) 376-7095Website: www.lls.orgInformation Resource Center (IRC): 800-955-4572Sasha Harry, MPA Meg Harrison, MACommunity Outreach Manager Patient Services ManagerLaura Ortiz-Ravick, MA Inez LendezPatient Outreach Coordinator Patient Services CoordinatorHispanic & Latino Communities