Someday is Today
By: Alex Napier
October 3, 2017 – Leukemia and Lymphoma are two of the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer in the United States and are both classified as blood cancers. While no diagnosis of cancer is hopeful or bright, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is the people, projects, and investments of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the largest voluntary, non-profit, health organization dedicated to funding research, finding cures, and ensuring access to treatments for blood cancer patients world-wide. Founded in 1949 by the de Villiers’ family after the loss of their teenage son to leukemia, the LLS has existed with the mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of the lives of patients and families affected by those diseases. The LLS provides funding for research focused on finding cures for blood cancers and to try and bridge the gap between discoveries in the field and the development of drugs. The LLS also provides the leading source for free access to information, education, and support for patients, survivors, their families and healthcare professionals in the field while also advocating for patient freedom and ease of access to the medical treatments and services they need to live longer, healthier, and happier lives.
What exactly are they fighting?
- Leukemia is a form of blood cancer that originates in the cells of bone marrow. One marrow cell will mutate and become a leukemia cell and over time these new leukemia cells will begin to crowd out and stop the development of normal marrow cells, they will then begin to spread into the surrounding blood cells through the same process.
- There are currently 9 specific forms of Leukemia, with the four most common being Acute myeloid leukemia (AML), Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), and Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
- After diagnosis and treatment patients are many times able to live many good, quality years.
- Lymphoma actually refers to a group of blood cancers that develop within the lymphatic system and it is found in two main forms, Hodgkin Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
- Hodgkin Lymphoma:
- This form of lymphoma is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, large cancerous cells found within the lymphoma’s tissues.
- Individuals aged 60+ and men are at an increased risk.
- Hodgkin Lymphoma is one of the most curable forms of cancer.
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL):
- This form of lymphoma represents the other diverse forms of lymphoma disease that do not possess the formation of Reed-Sternberg cells in their tissues.
- Younger adults, 20-30 years old, and men 55+ are at an increased risk.
- Can either be indolent (slow-forming) or aggressive (fast-forming). Some patients with fast-growing NHL can be cured, and those with slow-growing NHL treatments may be able to keep the disease in check for years.
How can you help?
While great strides have been made in research, treatments, cures and care throughout the years, this can only continue with your support. Consider donating to the LLS through IBTX’s fundraising project (through October 31st) to raise $25,000 for the LLS’s upcoming “Light the Night” walk, or feel free to help by participating in the “Light the Night” walk. Your money will be invested wisely; in 2016, the LLS was able to invest $49.3 million in research, support 268 research projects, sponsor conferences around the country and produce educational materials. In 2017, the LLS has already invested $40.3 million in research alone, and your continued donations will provide financial assistance for patients, co-pay programs, further research, and continuing education.
Information and Statistics for this Blog were taken from:
- The Official Site of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: http://www.lls.org/
- The Official Site of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America: http://www.cancercenter.com/
- The Official Site of the National Cancer Institute: https://www.cancer.gov/types/common-cancers#1