Leukaemia is a form of blood cancer that affects the blood cells within the bone marrow. It impacts how blood cells are made, meaning someone can produce too many, not enough or cells that don’t work properly. Since it is World Leukaemia Day on 4 September, we thought we would explore how stem cells can help with leukaemia treatment.

Difference between Lymphoma and Leukaemia

Just a quick note upfront as September is also leukaemia and lymphoma month there is a difference between these two cancers.

They are both blood cancers, but they work differently. Leukaemia affects the blood and bone marrow while lymphoma, as the name suggests, affects the lymph nodes.

What is World Leukaemia Day? 

World Leukaemia Day is an annual global event started by the charity Leukaemia Care. It was created in collaboration with patient groups from around the world. The intention is to allow people to tell their stories and raise awareness of the different types of leukaemia.

By raising awareness, the charity aims to increase understanding of the symptoms of the condition. This could lead to an earlier diagnosis and mean people might receive helpful treatment sooner. Knowing the signs and getting earlier treatment can increase the chance of survival for individuals with this cancer.

How can I help?

There are plenty of ways to get involved and help.

  • Share your stories: If you have stories about your experiences with cancer then you can tell your story on social media with relevant hashtags such as #WLD22. You can add pictures and, if you need them, there is a helpful template for you to follow that you can be found online.
  • Graphics: You can use the graphics created by the charity. There are posters, headers, and infographics ready for you to plaster on any social media.
  • Selfies: Who doesn’t love taking a selfie? Now you can help bring awareness to leukaemia by dressing in spots and using the hashtags for WLD.
  • Fill out a form: Let people know what leukaemia means to you. Tell your side of things via a form online.

Stem cells and Leukaemia

Part of bringing awareness and trying to get people the help they need quickly is being aware of the treatment options available to those who suffer from leukaemia.

There are many different treatments available depending on the type of leukaemia. Chemotherapy, targeted therapy, clinical trials for more experimental treatment options and many more. There are clinical trials currently being conducted to test stem cells as a way to treat leukaemia. There are already stories out there of successful treatments such as Keegans’s that you can read.

Whatever you do on September 4th keep in mind the significance of the day and, if you can, get involved.

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