Dr Google is popular prescription for blood cancer

The Leukaemia Foundation has today (August 01) revealed online searches in Australia for information relating to blood cancer are soaring, reflecting increasing diagnosis and mortality rates.

The charity’s analysis of Google search traffic shows in 2016-17 there were an average 56,842 monthly searches across the country for the terms 'blood cancer’ and 'leukaemia’, 'lymphoma’ and 'myeloma’, the three most common types of blood cancer.

It’s a 44% increase on the average 39,547 monthly searches in 2013-14. In March this year alone there were nearly 70,000 searches - a four-year monthly high.

The charity has warned the number of Australians being diagnosed is also increasing, with 35 people now being diagnosed every day, up from 31 people just four years ago.

And latest statistics show 4,412 people nationwide died from blood cancer in 2015, compared to 3,700 in 2006 – an increase of nearly 20 per cent.

Our CEO Bill Petch said the Leukaemia Foundation was investigating the increase in searches but the data backs up their own recent qualitative research showing more patients are looking for authoritative information online.

“This new search data paints a troubling picture about the growing problem of blood cancer in Australia,” Mr Petch said.

“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.

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

“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 the support and services that will meet their changing needs.”

The Leukaemia Foundation’s long-running Light the Night fundraising event is held each October and sees those impacted by blood cancer join others on a similar journey for a twilight walk. Join a local event by clicking here.

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