Our mission: defeating cancer
Cancer is a complex and challenging disease. It is the leading cause of death among Belgian men . Still, a lot of ground-breaking research on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer is taking place. For example, the overall five-year survival rate for patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is 70% by now . Our scientists are therefore hopeful about the future. Will we ever be able to cure cancer? We are convinced we will. Our mission is to make cancer a treatable and even curable disease.
Until then, we are applying ourselves unremittingly to helping people who have to live with cancer. A cancer diagnosis can be very overwhelming. It is therefore important to inform yourself accurately and take back control of your life. What treatment options are available? How much influence do I have as a patient? What are the prospects? In addition to the treatment, the disease also has an enormous impact on your social life. How do you deal with this? With our social media campaign “Cancer. Now what?” we want to raise awareness of this important issue. You have (had) cancer. Now what?
Our focus on blood cancer
Blood cancer is one of our focus areas where we bring together top scientists and researchers. Different types of blood cancers exist: 140 types and subtypes have been identified. Blood cancers can be either acute or chronic, and possible symptoms include anaemia, frequent infections and fatigue. A fast and correct diagnosis is important to effectively fight the disease. Scientific progress now allows us to quickly recognise and treat many types of blood cancer. Eventually we also want to use this knowledge, e.g. on biomarkers, in the early-detection and even prevention of cancer. Motivated by our successes, we will continue to work together with our partners to fulfil our mission of defeating cancer.
Stem cell donation as lifesaver
Although our focus is clear, we still have a long way to go. Until blood cancer is defeated, many patients affected by the disease depend on stem cell transplantations. With this procedure the complete bone marrow, affected or causative in many types of blood cancer, is replaced by that of a healthy donor. This is only possible if there is a match between the recipient and the donor. By registering as a stem cell donor, you can mean something to someone affected by blood cancer.
In Belgium, relatively few men of North African, Central African, Turkish, or mixed (e.g. Belgian-Turkish) origin are registered as donor. Patients of non-European origin are therefore often unable to find a donor. That is why the Belgian Red Cross launched a campaign to find suitable donors. Read more about the campaign here, where you can also find more information about how to register as a donor.
World Blood Cancer Month
During World Blood Cancer Month in September we will start a conversation about the challenges related to blood cancer. Join us on social media: