World Lymphoma Awareness Day – Know Your Nodes

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Highlights:

  • Lymphoma refers to cancer of the lymph nodes and can arise in various parts of the body
  • It is a fairly common cancer affecting nearly a million persons worldwide with 1000 new cases being diagnosed daily
  • World Lymphoma Awareness day observed every year on the 15th September hopes to raise awareness and educate the global population about this condition

Why Do We Need A World Lymphoma Awareness Day?

Lymphoma  is a fairly common cancer and its incidence is rising. Unfortunately recent international surveys show that knowledge and awareness about lymph nodes and lymphoma are rather poor.
World Lymphoma Awareness Day – Know Your Nodes
World Lymphoma Awareness Day – Know Your Nodes

Increasing awareness about lymphoma among the public will enable people around the world to better recognize its signs and symptoms, and to seek prompt medical attention leading to early diagnosis and timely management. Additionally, it would also empower patients and their families to obtain specialist care and get access to latest information on diagnosis and available treatments for lymphoma.

Birth Of World Lymphoma Awareness Day

World lymphoma awareness day (WLAD) began in 2004 and was initiated by the Lymphoma Coalition on a global scale to educate the public about Non-Hodgkin's and Hodgkin's lymphoma and the numerous (about 60) subtypes of lymphoma.

Theme For WLAD 2017 - Everything Changes

This year the World Lymphoma Awareness Day focuses on specific messages targeted towards various audiences namely, patients and their caregivers, health professionals as well as the general public revolving around the central theme #EverythingChanges
  • Patients and their families - When friends and family lend emotional support, extend a helping hand, or when the patients know the subtype of their lymphoma #EverythingChanges
  • Health Professionals - When physicians make it a point to discuss the details of the lymphoma diagnosis including the subtype with the patient and his family #EverythingChanges
  • The Public - When you are aware of the signs and symptoms of lymphoma and when you learn to pay attention to the little things and recognize subtle changes and seek prompt medical care #EverythingChanges
Separate posters with specific messages for the different groups have been designed and widely shared on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The Light It Red For Lymphoma Campaign By The Lymphoma Research Foundation

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) in its campaign to observe the Blood Cancer Awareness Month (September) and the WLAD on 15th September encourages individuals, and businesses to shed a light on lymphoma to educate the public as well as offer hope to persons suffering from this disease.

Some of the ways of participating in the Light It Red (LIR) for Lymphoma Campaign include the following
  • Decorating your workplace, store, building, or office with red colored lights, ribbons, or balloons
  • Wearing a red dress on WLAD and sharing it on social media with #LightItRed
  • Promote and inform friends on social media about activity and events nearby with the #LightItRed
  • Download the LIR selfie sign and post your selfie on the social media with #LightItRed
  • Share lymphoma facts and figures on social media
  • Attend and support fund raising events to raise funds for lymphoma research
  • Organize a fund raising event in your community with a red themed dish or item and donate the proceeds for lymphoma research
Focus On Lymphoma is the first mobile application developed by the LRF that provides patients and caregivers exhaustive information about their lymphoma subtype and latest tools available for diagnosis and treatment modalities. The app also allows users to record doctor visits, manage medications, keep track of blood test and other results as well as document treatment and side effects if any.

Key Facts About Lymphoma

  • Lymphoma is a cancer involving the lymph nodes, which form a part of the immune system of the body.
  • The 2 major types of lymphoma are the Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and the Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL), with 90 percent of lymphomas of the NHL type.
  • The treatment of the two types of lymphomas and the various subtypes included within them varies widely making the subtyping of lymphoma important to treatment.
  • Symptoms of lymphoma may include painless enlargement of lymph nodes, fever, drenching sweats (mostly at night), weight loss, chronic tiredness and itching (pruritis). It is important to immediately seek medical attention if any of these are present.
  • A diagnosis of lymphoma is made after performing blood tests and imaging tests and by obtaining a biopsy of the enlarged node for histopathological examination to confirm the diagnosis and the subtype.
  • The various forms of treatment for lymphoma include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and surgery.
  • The 5 year survival rate for all Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes in the US is 85 per cent, while for non-Hodgkin lymphomas it is 69 per cent. The prognosis depends on the subtype with some forms being curable. However, with treatment, patient survival is prolonged in most cases.

References:

  1. World Lymphoma Awareness Day - (https:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Lymphoma_Awareness_Day#WLAD_Campaigns)
  2. World Lymphoma Awareness Day 2017 - (http://www.lymphomacoalition.org/news-and-events9/world-lymphoma-awareness-day-2017)
  3. How You Can Light it Red for Lymphoma - (http://www.lymphoma.org/site/pp.asp?c=bkLTKaOQLmK8E&b=9296857)

Source: Medindia

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