Blood cancer is killing more Australians

Peter Terlato 20 January 2017 NEWS

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Causes remain largely unknown but an ageing population may be playing a role.

The number of Australians dying from blood cancer is now double those losing their lives to melanoma skin cancer, according to the latest medical analysis research.

An investigation by the Leukaemia Foundation found blood cancer death rates in Australia have been escalating, increasing almost 20% in the last decade.

Blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma affect the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system.

In 2015, 4,412 Australians died as a result of blood cancer, compared with 3,700 people in 2006.

New South Wales residents accounted for one-third (33%) of all blood cancer deaths nationwide in 2015.

Blood cancer and drowning continue to be the leading causes of death among Aussie children aged 1-14.

The disease also affects older Australians, particularly those 55 and over. Almost half of adult blood cancer patients will lose their life, while affected children have a better rate of survival.

Currently, around 15% of Australia's population is aged 65 and over. The Australian Institute of Family Studies suggests this figure will continue to rise well into the future.

Causes of blood cancer remain largely unknown but an ageing population may be playing a role.

Events, such as the annual World's Greatest Shave, help to raise millions of dollars for research each year.

Australians love to get behind a cause and 2016 was a fortuitous year for Australian organ recipients, owing to the generosity of more than 500 deceased donors and their families.

A study investigating the future of medicine in Australia found most people would be comfortable with artificial intelligence being used to diagnose common medical problems and interpret patient test results.

Trying to decide which hospital option is better for you? It's sensible to compare public and private cover, consider wait times and safety and understand how to claim health insurance when visiting.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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