September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. This global event was established in 2010 and continues to provide an effective platform to raise awareness about blood cancers.

One of the world’s most prevalent and dangerous cancers.

Blood cancers are a complicated group of cancers which can affect anyone, at any age, and at any time throughout their lives. Awareness of the different blood cancers (three main types are Leukaemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma) and their different signs and symptoms helps to improve early diagnosis and ultimately treatment options.

Leukaemia – affects the white blood cells and blood-forming tissues of the body, including bone marrow and the lymphatic system. Some forms are more common in children and other types occur mainly in adults.

Lymphoma – a cancer of the lymphatic system. This is the body’s germ-fighting network, comprising of the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland and bone marrow. Lymphoma can affect any of these as well as other organs throughout the body. The two main types are Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Myeloma – develops in the plasma cell, which is a type of white blood cell. Plasma cells are important to help fight infections as they make antibodies which identify and attack germs. Multiple myeloma are cancerous plasma cells that gather in the bone marrow and push out healthy blood cells. The cancer cells produce abnormal proteins which may cause complications.

Recent research from Monash University in Melbourne have developed a one drug therapy which produces a double hit to different types of blood cancers - two cancer drugs working together. The study focused on leukaemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma with promising results. Click Monash University study to read additional information about the project.

Other blood cancers

Chronic lymphocyte leukaemia (CLL) is the most prevalent subtype of leukaemia in Western countries. It affects the bone marrow and white blood cells. Visit our website to read more about CLL.

Myelofibrosis (MF) is a rare blood cancer which disrupts the body’s normal production of blood cells. Click HERE to read more about MF.

The theme this year is #ThisIsBloodCancer, and despite over a million people every year around the world having to experience the diagnosis of a blood cancer, awareness is still extremely low. The latest data shows the incidence of blood cancers continues to rise.

Global Burden of Disease study | 1990-2019

Blood Cancer (incidence)






Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma



Hodgkin’s Lymphoma



Multiple Myeloma



Data from a 2020 study

  • Estimated blood cancer cases per year – 1.24million.
  • Global mortality – 720,000 people die from blood cancer annually.

Australians and blood cancer

  • In 2022, it was expected that 19,403 Australians would be diagnosed with a blood cancer such as Leukaemia, Lymphoma or Myeloma = approx. 53 people per day.
  • The incidence of blood cancer is continuing to grow with a 47% rise in the last decade.
  • Approximately 135,000 Australians are currently living a blood cancer or blood disorder.
  • By 2035, it is expected the number will rise to 275,000.

Living with a blood disorder

Over a decade ago, Adrian was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia, however it took several years to identify and diagnose the blood cancer. In 2019, Adrian joined a global clinical trial with Perth Blood Institute (PBI), and still continues with his treatment today. He enjoys spending time with his three children and working at his avocado farm. Please visit our website to read about Adrian's journey.

Andrew was diagnosed with myelofibrosis in 2021 and participated in a PBI clinical trial to assess the safety and tolerability of a drug for bone marrow cancer patients. Click HERE to read Andrew’s story.

PBI’s clinical trials unit recognise the importance of new technologies and treatments to address blood cancers. Currently they are involved in clinical trials for some different types of lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; leukaemia and multiple myeloma. To read further information about our clinical trials, please visit our website PBI Clinical Trials.

Due to the ongoing accomplishments of clinical trials and research since the mid-1970s, survival rates have increased by 25%.

For more information, please visit Blood Cancer Awareness Month