Janssen art campaign raises awareness about blood cancer

Janssen has launched a campaign to raise awareness about blood cancer, unveiling a giant art installation in London’s Paternoster Square.

The company launched the Make Blood Cancer Visible Campaign in partnership with nine patient support groups.

September is blood cancer awareness month and as such the art display will be in place until the end of the month.

Designed by Paul Cocksedge, the installation has 104 three-dimensional giant names, representing the number of people diagnosed every day in the UK.

Each name is the real name of someone who has been diagnosed with blood cancer and is sized to match their height.

Names are arranged to reflect patterns that occur when people gather in crowds and set in a recurring typeface to show their shared experiences.

The display coincides with the launch of a survey by YouGov and funded by Janssen, showing just one in ten people, from a sample of 2,044, are aware there are more than 100 different types of blood cancer.

Only 12% selected blood cancer as one of the top five most commonly diagnosed types of the cancer, and 30% incorrectly though vomiting, double vision and/or headaches were warning signs of blood cancer.

The campaign comes at a time when a wave of new treatments are helping to extend the lives of patients across a range of blood cancers.

Janssen is one of the major players in the therapy area, with its Darzalex for multiple myeloma and Imbruvica for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) among these new medicines.

Another patient survey carried out by Leukaemia CARE showed 80% of the 1,199 people surveyed did not think their symptoms would turn out to be blood cancer.

And 38% of those surveyed admitted they had never heard of their specific type of blood cancer before their diagnosis, and knew nothing about it.

Diana Jupp, director of patient experience at the charity Bloodwise, said: “Despite 230,000 people being affected by blood cancer across the UK, it is still a much-misunderstood and little-known disease area. We know that low awareness can lead to late diagnosis and can make it hard for people to find the information and support they need, leading to a greater sense of isolation.”

Dr Rozlyn Bekker, business unit director, Oncology and Haematology, Janssen UK, said: “Janssen is dedicated to supporting and improving the lives of patients diagnosed with blood cancer. Helping to raise awareness of these types of cancers and working with healthcare professionals and patient support groups to bring about a better understanding of haematological malignancies is an important part of this.”

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