My mum was recently diagnosed with a cancer called Hodgkin's Lymphoma and it was then that I got to understand what exactly what lymphoma is. Perhaps it's just me, but for some reason I feel pretty knowledgeable or at least pretty aware about other cancers like breast, ovarian, prostate etc because I feel they're always in the news and on tele. Today is world lymphoma day and it would really mean a lot to me if you take 5 minutes out of your day to learn a bit about a this cancer.
So what on earth is Lymphoma anyway?
Lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer in Canada and one of the fastest rising incidence rates worldwide. In 2011, an estimated 8,600 Canadians will be diagnosed with lymphoma and in 2011, 3,310 succumbed to the disease. Lymphoma affects men, women and children and incidence is on the rise in young adults and children. It is a type of blood cancer that develops when an error occurs in the production of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell found in the lymph nodes, and results in abnormal cells that become cancerous.
Today is World Lymphoma Awareness Day
WLAD is held on September 15 every year and is a day dedicated to raising awareness of lymphoma. Launched in 2004 and now an established date in the health calendar, WLAD provides a focus for doctors, nurses, patient support groups, patients and their families to join forces in a united campaign to inform the public about lymphoma, its signs and symptoms and how it affects lives of thousands of people around the world.
WLAD is a global initiative hosted by the Lymphoma Coalition, a non-profit network organization of patient groups from around the world. It currently has 49 member groups from 36 countries. For further information visit www.lymphomacoalition.org.
Despite the fact that one million people worldwide live with lymphoma and nearly 1,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer every day, research shows:
- Less than 50% of people know anything about this potentially life-threatening cancer
- Almost three quarters (74%) of people do not know that lymphoma is a form of cancer.
Through raised awareness of lymphoma, people around the world will better recognize the signs and symptoms, which leads to earlier diagnosis.
WLAD also provides a platform for individual countries to address local issues, for example lobbying government for funding or access to the most effective treatments.
For more information about Lymphoma and how you can support research in Canada please visit the Lymphoma Foundation of Canada.