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Half of blood cancer patients face out-of-pocket costs in thousands of dollars


New research from the Leukaemia Foundation reveals the devastating financial impact a blood cancer diagnosis is having on Australians.

The study shows that 43% of blood cancer patients have suffered from out-of-pocket treatment costs, some running into the thousands of dollars.

In addition, the research found that 42% of patients had to take over three months off work during treatment, with 50% of patients still unable to return to work, and 30% had to leave their job altogether.

As blood cancer diagnoses soar by 47% in the past decade, the Leukaemia Foundation is launching the 25th anniversary of the World’s Greatest Shave, with a call to action for Australians to help support those impacted by the financial strain of a blood cancer diagnosis.

Leukaemia Foundation CEO, Chris Tanti, said, “Today’s research reveals the true cost of a blood cancer diagnosis. Financial hardship can be one of the biggest challenges for people and families affected by the disease, and on top of the emotional, physical, and social difficulties, many individuals and their loved ones are faced with incredibly difficult financial decisions just to survive their blood cancer.”

With blood cancers being some of the most costly to treat, including leukaemia and myeloma, which account for two of the top five costliest cancers, the financial burden on blood cancer patients is immense. The weighted average out-of-pocket costs for individuals with blood cancer can range from $5,000 to $11,000, compared to other cancer patients who face an average cost of $2,500.

The World’s Greatest Shave is a crucial event that raises vital funds to provide emotional, practical, and financial support to the 53 Australians diagnosed with blood cancer each day. This 25-year-old initiative also funds research to help diagnose and treat blood cancer more effectively.

Join the Leukaemia Foundation in the fight against blood cancer by signing up for the World’s Greatest Shave between March 15-19. Help make a difference in the lives of those affected by blood cancer and show your support today. Sign up now at or call 1800 500 088 for more information. Use the hashtag #worldsgreatestshave to spread the word and encourage others to join the cause.

Press release from Leukaemia FoundationNote: Content has been edited for style and length.

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.


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