Michael Diaz: Addressing blood cancer incidence in Florida — a call for support, innovation
Molecule of DNA forming inside the test tube in the blood test equipment.3d rendering,conceptual image.

Molecule of DNA forming inside the test tube in the blood test equipment.3d rendering,conceptual image.
Blood cancers know no boundaries — they affect people of all ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Blood cancers, debilitating and life-threatening diseases affecting thousands of Floridians, require immediate attention and support.

Incidence of blood cancers, encompassing various types such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, continues to rise in our state and it’s vital for our elected officials to take proactive measures to foster an environment that encourages innovative therapies and new treatments for patients. By investing in research, supporting health care institutions and raising awareness, we can offer hope and improved outcomes to those battling these devastating conditions.

According to the American Cancer Society, Florida ranked second highest in the number of lymphoma cases in the United States in 2022 and an estimated 3,780 myeloma cases will be recorded in Florida in the year of 2023, with 25% of those resulting in deaths — making Florida the leading state for myeloma cases this year.

Blood cancers know no boundaries — they affect people of all ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds. Their impact not only causes immense suffering to patients and their families, but it also burdens our health care system.

Cutting-edge research in immunotherapy, precision medicine, and gene therapies offer promising avenues to improve patient outcomes and quality of life and creating an environment that fosters this innovation is where we start.

By investing in these areas, we can accelerate the development and accessibility of breakthrough treatments, offering hope to those who need it most. The potential to transform blood cancers from a life-threatening condition to a manageable chronic disease exists, but it requires our collective support.

To combat blood cancer effectively, our elected officials must provide substantial support to research institutions and health care facilities. Increased funding for research grants, clinical trials, and infrastructure will enable scientists and medical professionals to conduct vital research, develop innovative therapies, and advance the understanding of blood cancers. Additionally, elected officials should advocate for policies that improve access to affordable health care, including comprehensive insurance coverage for blood cancer treatments. By investing in research and supporting health care institutions, we empower the medical community to pioneer new breakthroughs and ensure that patients have access to cutting-edge treatments.

The lives of countless Floridians hang in the balance, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure they have access to the latest treatments and a fighting chance for survival. Let us unite in the fight against blood cancers, standing alongside patients, their families, and the medical community, to create a future where these diseases no longer threaten lives.


Michael Diaz, M.D., is the past president of the Community Oncology Alliance, and is the past president and volunteer director of the Advocacy Program for the Florida Society of Clinical Oncology.

Guest Author


  • Suze

    July 5, 2023 at 8:56 pm

    So why do u let DeathSantis continue to pass bills that kill Floridians, that are antiScience and anti healthcare for women???

  • Jeanne Locke

    July 6, 2023 at 10:44 am

    Let’s look at the possible impact of lawn and pesticide chemicals on the development of blood cancers as well as other illnesses. Our state is drowning in fertilizers and chemicals overused on lawns.

Comments are closed.


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