New report highlights major gaps in understanding and significant misperceptions about blood cancer in the region, with one in two Japanese and one in four Chinese unable to name a single symptom of the disease
Blood cancers make up seven percent of all cancers worldwide and its prevalence in Asia Pacific is growing, but data on incidence and survival rates remain limited. Over 900,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with blood cancer every year, yet many people remain unaware of these serious, often incurable diseases.
Blood cancer is an umbrella term for 140 different cancers that can affect the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system, and the main types of blood cancer are lymphoma, myeloma and leukemia.
Despite the growing incidence of blood cancer in Asia Pacific, there is still much work that needs to be done in education around symptoms, support and survival for blood cancer in Asia Pacific. For example, commonly-held misconceptions in the region include the belief that blood cancer is contagious or caused by anemia.
The first-of-its-kind in Asia-Pacific: the Make Blood Cancer Visible (MBCV) Asia Pacific report was launched by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, the beginning of an effort across the region to address existing gaps in understanding and support for those living with blood cancers.
The report was developed with the support of The Max Foundation (Max) to make the disease more visible to the public and healthcare stakeholders.
The MBCV report, featuring an independent survey of 3,000 individuals in China and Japan, reveals significant gaps in understanding, major misperceptions, and the need for action to secure broader awareness about blood cancer in the region. Commissioned by Janssen Asia Pacific and conducted by YouGov and Nielsen, the survey provides a number of insights, including:
- In both China and Japan, roughly half the people surveyed could not name a single symptom of blood cancer.
- In Japan, only 1 percent of people surveyed recall hearing or reading anything about blood cancer in the last year.
- In China, 4 in 10 people surveyed believed blood cancer is contagious or don鈥檛 know if it鈥檚 contagious.
Low awareness could pose a significant obstacle to national efforts in prevention and early diagnosis, but the survey also highlights that a large proportion of respondents want more information about prevention, treatment options and, most notably, patient experiences.
To shed light on the patient experience in Asia Pacific, the report also showcases a collection of 13 blood cancer patient stories from across the region. They reveal that even at the time of diagnosis, many survivors were unable to identify a single symptom until their disease had progressed significantly. Together with detailed facts and figures about the disease in each country, the stories aim to educate the public and counteract widespread misperceptions about blood cancer.
The MBCV Asia Pacific campaign follows a broader effort that Janssen launched in 2015 with MBCV in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Click here for the complete issue.