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Release Date: 09.01.2009 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

September is Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Awareness Month

Tremendous advances have been made to treat blood cancer but the battle is far from won

Remarkable progress has been made in treating patients with blood cancers. Sixty years ago there were few effective treatments for children or adults with blood cancer and the rate of survival was very low. Today, about 75 percent of children with acute leukemia and nearly 80 percent of children and adults with Hodgkin lymphoma are cured. Improved therapies and stem cell transplantation have dramatically improved survival rates for most blood cancers, and even patients with diseases resistant to treatment, such as myeloma, are benefiting from new drugs that are increasing the rate and duration of remissions.

Yet, more than 894,000 people in the United States currently have some form of blood cancer. Every ten minutes someone dies from a blood cancer and an estimated 52,910 will die from one this year.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a beacon of help and guidance to those touched by blood cancer and each September The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society observes Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma Awareness Month to shed light on these diseases and let the public know that there are resources available for blood cancer patients and their families.

"Awareness Month is an opportunity to increase the public's understanding of blood cancers and encourage people to support the funding of research to find cures and education programs to help patients have the best possible outcomes throughout their cancer experience," said Dick Brown, Executive Director of the Georgia Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

One way the public can increase The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's critical funding is by taking part in Light The Night. During the event, walkers carry an illuminated balloon along the two to three mile walk routes. Cancer patients and survivors will carry white balloons as "lights of hope," supporters carry red balloons and those walking in remembrance of someone carry gold balloons. This year, The Society will host five Light The Night Walks throughout Georgia. For more information go to www.lightthenight.org/ga

Since its inception in 1949, LLS has invested more than $600 million in research to find cures and better therapies, and funded $71.4 million in 2008 alone. LLS supports investigators' efforts to find new molecular targets for treatment and potential immunotherapies, and helps them translate their laboratory findings into more effective therapies for patients.

Through its patient services programs, LLS offers a comprehensive array of education and support services to blood cancer patients and their families. There are family support groups, patient education workshops featuring health experts, and First Connection – a peer-to-peer support program that matches newly diagnosed patients with trained volunteer survivors. A back to school program help children treated for cancer transition back to school. LLS also provides financial assistance to patients with significant financial need and an insurance co-pay assistance program.

LLS's web site - www.LLS.org is the definitive resource for information about blood cancers and its Information Resource Center (IRC) is a call center staffed by master's level social workers, nurses and health educators who provide information, support and resources to patients and their families and caregivers. IRC information specialists are available at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LL S) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LL S mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LL S funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LL S has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LL S.org or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. www.lls.org.

Contact Info

Contact Name: Sarah Abbott

Company: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Phone: (770) 378-0911

E-mail: javier.dejesus@lls.org