World Cancer Day 04/02/2022

Today – 4th February 2022 is World Cancer Day
Browse the interesting programme:

This year the MDS community is marking the day in an effort to ensure Myelodysplastic Syndromes are consistently referred to as a form of blood cancer. Too often, some patients are still not told MDS falls under the general umbrella of cancer – due to the differences between lower-risk and higher-risk MDS.

NOT calling MDS a cancer immediately at diagnosis, ultimately causes more anxiety and confusion in patients and families, who will inevitably browse the internet, attend ‘cancer’ wards, be prescribed ‘chemo’ treatment, or speak to ‘Macmillan cancer’ nurses.
In each of these situations, if cancer was not previously mentioned, they will be at best confused, or at worst highly alarmed, as not prepared for it.

In addition, patients who benefit from additional support through specialist nurses, charities and/or peer to peer contact, generally cope better with their condition. Sadly, only a mere 20% of patients end up contacting a support group, as many patients are not aware of the help available.
80% of patients miss out on this additional support– so important in rarer cancers in particular.

We request and recommend for all clinicians to:

  • Call MDS a blood cancer immediately at diagnosis.
  • Strongly recommend patients contact a support group.
  • Hand the patient a support group leaflet.

On World Cancer Day

We review the barriers that stand in the way of cancer care.

Three of them are particularly relevant in MDS:

  • Ageism
  • Poverty
  • Rural settings

We would also highlight lack of IT literacy in particular, as a significant proportion of MDS patients still struggle to access online services and information, with 10% having no access to the internet at all.

What are the 7 barriers that stand in the way of cancer care?

Have a look at the images below or save and download "Inside the Equity Gap" PDF by clicking here

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