Blood cancer is a major issue in the United States, and both patients and survivors face discrimination at times, whether by health insurance companies, employers or others. Here are seven facts to keep in mind during National Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September:
1. The three most common forms of blood cancer are leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.
2. About every three minutes, one person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer. An estimated combined total of 171,550 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma in 2016.
3. Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death among children and adolescents in the United States.
4. In 2016, about 5,413 children, adolescents and young adults younger than 20 years old are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, the most common cancer in young people.
5. Like those with many other chronic diseases, cancer patients face discrimination by insurance companies, in the workplace and elsewhere. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society found exchange plans in several states that charged patients with blood cancer as much as 50 percent co-insurance rates, according to an article in Modern Healthcare, showing that insurers are still discriminating against people with certain conditions despite the Affordable Care Act trying to prevent that from occurring.
6. While many employers are often supportive of people after a diagnosis of cancer, some employers might treat cancer survivors (or their caregivers) unfairly. Problems include demotion, denial of promotions, denial of benefits or dismissal. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society offers resources about your rights, which you can read by clicking here.
7. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the united voice for blood cancer patients and works to advance science and support patients. The organization is working to raise awareness and funding during Blood Cancer Awareness Month. You can support them by using the hashtag #Raise4LLS on social media.
Together we can all work to advance research of cures and ensure access to affordable treatments.