Twenty nine Cypriots have donated bone marrow for transplantation in 12 countries in the last eight months, according to the Karaiskakio Foundation press release, which has declared September ‘Leukemia month’.
The foundation said every three minutes a person will be diagnosed with some type of blood cancer and every 10 minutes a person dies from a type of blood cancer. Leukemia cases represent the most common type of cancer in children and adults under 20 years with 26.9 per cent.
According to the foundation, every year 240,000 new cases of hematological malignancies are recorded in Europe.
In Cyprus, since 2000, a total of 3,630 Cypriots patients have been referred to Karaiskakion Foundation to find donors. Twenty per cent of patients in Cyprus cannot find a compatible donor while the foundation annually accepts around 20,000 applications from overseas looking for compatible donors.
Annually, around 20-30 volunteers in the foundation’s registry, are compatible with a corresponding number of patients suffering from leukemia.
“In total 317 volunteers from our registry have donated marrow for patients in 26 different countries,” Karaiskakio added.
The Foundation`s registry with 136,000 volunteers for bone marrow (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots) is the largest global registry in proportion to population. One in three Cypriots, aged between 35-45, are registered with the Foundation.