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Leukaemia Foundation launches industry-first health service for Australians living with blood cancer

Leukaemia Foundation 4 mins read

Following close to 50 years of supporting Australians impacted by blood cancer, today the Leukaemia Foundation will officially launch the next generation in its service, an innovative and evidence-based online blood cancer support service. 

Designed to support the rising number of Australians impacted by blood cancer1 and increased survivorship2, the new always-there digital service offers patients the ability to learn more about their symptoms, and their diagnosis, through topics that are most important and curated to them, at no cost. 

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Chris Tanti said that the online blood cancer support service has been co-designed with patients at the heart of every part of its development. 

“It's the only online platform of its kind in Australia which is dedicated to blood cancer patients, and their carers, offering them a safe and supportive environment to connect, learn and additionally find blood cancer professionals and services in their area,” said Mr Tanti.  

“For many blood cancer patients, their disease is chronic and often unseen which can result in feelings of isolation, loneliness, and anxiety. Through the new online blood cancer support service platform, people can read, watch, or listen to information at their preferred time or location, as they navigate the complex challenges of a blood cancer diagnosis.” 

According to blood cancer survivor Shelley Bishop, the Leukaemia Foundation's online blood cancer support service has provided valuable resources and information that has helped her to navigate life after cancer treatment. 

“When I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, I felt overwhelmed and had no idea where to look for support and information. Instead of searching Dr Google, having access to a trusted online support service dedicated to blood cancer patients, helped me feel more informed and in control of the information I consumed,” said Ms Bishop. 

As Australia’s most reputable cancer charity3, the Leukaemia Foundation believes the online blood cancer support service is a crucial component to supporting the changing landscape of clinical care by providing life-changing, wrap-around health services to Australians impacted by blood cancer, no matter where they live. 

Mr Tanti added, “We're confident that by expanding our offering with this simple-to-use online platform with highly credible content for blood cancer patients, our team of professionals can better support them and improve their daily quality of life and wellbeing. 

"It further allows existing and new patients the opportunity to access us anytime and anywhere, via the online support service if they choose, with our original services continuing to operate as they have always done.”  

The online blood cancer support service currently features six learning modules designed and delivered by experts in their field that address the most commonly asked questions, including cancer-related fatigue, emotional resilience, financial and legal matters, long-term side effects, transition to a new normal and return to work.  

Each module is helpful and relevant to not only patients, regardless of what blood cancer they have, but also to their caregivers and wider support network. 

The service also provides patients with a personalised energy coach as well as a comprehensive guide to local providers and services in their area who know about blood cancer and how to help, and the ability to connect to a live chat and have their questions answered by the Leukaemia Foundation’s health professionals.  

The online blood cancer support service will be officially launched at the Blood Annual Conference from 5-8 November 2023 in Melbourne, Australia, where it will be revealed to healthcare professionals so they can start referring their blood cancer patients. 

“The online blood cancer support service makes it easier than ever for healthcare professionals to assist their patients and carers to find the information that’s most relevant to them between their medical appointments. 

“By referring their patients, they can rest assured that the content available has been reviewed by our team of experts for accuracy and accessibility and is fully optimised for any device, including mobiles and tablets," added Mr Tanti. 

For more information or to access the online blood cancer support service, visit support.leukaemia.org.au or call 1800 620 420.  

-END- 

INTERVIEW A BLOOD CANCER PATIENT:

We have several patients and carers who have trialled the new online blood cancer support service who are happy to share their feedback and experience with media. Please email media@leukaemia.org.au to secure an interview.

INTERVIEW LEUKAEMIA FOUNDATION CEO:

Chris Tanti, CEO, is available to discuss the new online blood cancer support service in detail via phone, Zoom, Teams or in person (Melbourne).

TESTIMONIALS FROM WELL-KNOWN BLOOD CANCER PATIENTS:

“The new online blood cancer support service is so simple to use. From a patient’s perspective, it is easy to access at any time, with information that is easy to understand. Like lots of people with Myeloma or any form of blood cancer, fatigue is a real issue.  Both the learn module and the energy coach can help you manage it and the tips give you ideas on how to improve your wellbeing."  Barry Du Bois, Leukaemia Foundation Ambassador 

“The online blood cancer support service provides useful information about side effects and the importance of emotional support. The energy coach is a personal tool helping to explain why I might be feeling the way I do – and the fact it’s accessible online means I can go there whenever it suits me, and I need never be alone while I’m dealing with my cancer.”  Bruce McAvaney, living with Blood Cancer 

TESTIMONIAL FROM A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL:

"The services finder is a great tool for our patients, especially as there is an option for it to be location based for search purposes.  As many of our patients are from regional areas or interstate, their familiarity of suburbs and locations may be limited, however the location functionality will assist them to find services close to where their hospital or local accommodation is."

"This is a valuable and practical tool to assist our patients to learn about their diagnosis, understand symptoms and what they can do to manage symptoms and side effects of their diagnosis and treatments.  Patients, in consultation with their health care team, can be shared decision makers and active participants in managing their health."  Annette Barnes, Clinical Nurse Consultant 

[1] https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia/contents/about Incidence in 2023 (19,453) v’s 2013 (13,945)

[2] https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia/contents/about 5-year survival rate 2015-2019 (68.8%) v’s 2010-2014 (66.2%)

[3] https://www.leukaemia.org.au/media/leukaemia-foundation-takes-top-spot-as-australias-most-reputable-cancer-charity/


Key Facts:

For more information go to: 

https://www.leukaemia.org.au/how-we-can-help/online-blood-cancer-support-service/


About us:

About the Leukaemia Foundation: The Leukaemia Foundation stands with Australia to help cure and conquer blood cancer – with care. Together we are attacking every blood cancer, from every direction, in every way we can. We stand beside every Australian to be their voice and their someone-to-turn to, fighting to get them access to the best care. We also accelerate research that is delivering rapid advancements in blood cancer diagnosis and treatments. Plus, we provide services and support that empower people living with any blood cancer to live well after diagnosis. You can learn more about the Leukaemia Foundation and blood cancer at leukaemia.org.au.


Contact details:

Contact the Leukaemia Foundation's media team on media@leukaemia.org.au or call 0473 154 079.

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