Banish blood cancer and snip into action for World's Greatest Shave 2019

Snippets of support: The Leukaemia Foundation is calling on the community to support this year's World's Greatest Shave. Picture: Chris Lane
Snippets of support: The Leukaemia Foundation is calling on the community to support this year's World's Greatest Shave. Picture: Chris Lane

The annual call for the community to cut a courageous gesture and get ready to brave the shave is set to snip into action.

The Leukaemia Foundation’s 2019 World's Greatest Shave is just around the corner (March 13-17), and this year the foundation celebrates its 21st year.

Currently 12,800 Australians are diagnosed with a blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma every year. By 2025, this number is expected to increase to about 17,000 people.  

In December 2018 the foundation was made a funding partner in the federal government's $7.1 million package into new research grants that include cancer research projects such as targeted approaches to therapy for multiple myeloma.

In the same month, the federal government added Rydapt (midostaurin) to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), giving patients with acute myeloid leukaemia  - a rare yet aggresive cancer of the blood and bone marrow, access to cheaper medication. The condition is one of the most common acute leukaemia forms in adults with one of the highest incidence rates occurring in Australia. It has one of the lowest survival rates of all adult leukaemias. 

Treatments for lymphoma and multiple myeloma were also included on the PBS from October of the same year, giving patients more affordable access to Gazyva, and to Pomalyst, which is prescribed for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

Leukaemia Foundation national chief executive, Bill Petch, says while the continued increase in diagnosis rates is concerning, treatments and care is increasing survival rates. But this means a greater need for support, he said.

“The demand on all of our services, which include emotional and practical support and the provision of vital, disease specific information and education, will only continue to grow and be put under pressure,” he said.

Register your shave event or call 1800 500 068.

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