The Leukaemia Foundation will host its annual Light the Night lantern walk in Lismore on October 14.
The Leukaemia Foundation will host its annual Light the Night lantern walk in Lismore on October 14. Contributed

Light the Night to fight blood cancer

A LEADING charity revealed online searches in New South Wales for information relating to blood cancer have soared.

The Leukaemia Foundation's analysis of search traffic in 2016-17 showed there were an average 18,603 monthly searches for the terms 'blood cancer', 'leukaemia', 'lymphoma' and 'myeloma'.

It's a 48% increase on the average 12,568 monthly searches for 2013-14.

In March this year over 22,500 searches were recorded which is a four year monthly high.

CEO of the Leukaemia Foundation, Bill Petch, said the charity was investigating the increase in searches.

"This new date paints a troubling picture about the growing problem of blood cancer in NSW,” Mr Petch said.

The increased online traffic is suspected to reflect the increasing numbers in diagnosis and mortality rates.

35 people now being diagnosed with a form of blood cancer every day, up from the 31 people just four years ago.

And the latest statistics show 4412 people nationwide died from blood cancer in 2015, compared to the 3700 in 2006.

"We're not yet sure exactly why but it's clear there are more people than ever using search engines to find out more about this dangerous disease and that may mean more people out there who need support,” Mr Petch said.

"Couple this new data with increasing blood cancer diagnosis and mortality rates, which show for every three diagnosed someone dies, it is clear we have much work ahead of us.”

Now more than ever it is important for the Leukaemia Foundation to raise funds and awareness to fight all varieties of blood cancers.

One long-running fundraising event is that Light the Night parades held in October.

Now in its tenth year, Light the Night brings together Australia's blood cancer community together in more than 140 locations, to remember and reflect during a moving ceremony and walk.

Those attending raise money beforehand to help give local families facing blood cancer the emotional and practical support they need.

Last year $2 million was raised for the foundation nation wide.

"This country's 60,000 strong blood cancer community is growing every day and it's important we're there for each and every family in their darkest hour, providing them with the support and services they need to beat their blood cancer,” Mr Petch said.

You can register now to participate in Lismore's Light the Night on October 17.

https://lightthenight.org.au/event/lismore