New evidence shows that the occurrence of blood cancer across the country has been vastly underestimated, according to a new report.
Previous estimates suggested there were around 55,000 Australians who lived with blood cancer, however the report State of the Nation: Blood Cancer Report has revealed that 110,000 Australians actually lived with disease.
This number is also projected to more than double by 2035, the report revealed.
“We now know that the true size, scale and impact of blood cancer in Australia has been significantly underestimated, potentially leading to inconsistency and inadequacy of funding and service delivery,” Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said.
On World Cancer day Mr Peach said that the organisation is preparing for a massive jump in services and that to tackle the issue a new national, collaborative approach was needed to help save the lives of Australians fighting the disease.
The report showed that not only was there an urgent call to better meet the needs of those currently living with blood cancer, but that demand on support services was going to grow substantially in the next 15 years.
Mr Petch said the report also found the cost to the health system of treating and caring for people with blood cancer is projected to increase to over $10.9 billion in 2035 – up from $3.4 billion annually today. The total cost to the Australian economy is also expected to reach $71.9 billion a year by 2035 – more than triple today’s annual estimated cost of $22.9 billion.
“Blood cancer is and will continue to be an issue for all Australians and there is an urgent need for collaborative action to help meet the needs of those living with the disease, today and into the future.”