In spite of the fact that lymphoma is the second-fastest growing cancer in the world and the ninth leading cancer among South Africans today, this cancer that damages the body's immune system remains largely unknown. When compared with breast cancer, for example, awareness of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is extremely low.
As reported in the National Cancer Registry of 1999, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma mainly affects persons aged 45 years and older. But because its symptoms are similar to common illnesses such as flu or TB, it is often wrongly diagnosed, and can take some time before the sufferer becomes aware that something is seriously wrong.
Lymphoma may first be noticed as painless enlarged lymph nodes. Depending on the type of lymphoma and where it is situated in the body, symptoms can range from the swelling of a lymph node, unintended weight loss and feeling tired and listless through to night sweats, fevers and itching for no clear reason, usually deep under the skin.
The good news though is that Lymphoma - a term used to describe a tumour in the lymphatic system - is a lymphatic cancer that, depending on its type, can be treated very successfully. Even in patients diagnosed with the aggressive form of the disease, it is potentially curable.
The key to combating this disease effectively lies in creating awareness – of the disease, its symptoms, and its treatment. By creating more awareness of the symptoms of lymphoma, it increases the chances of early diagnosis and treatment, which can improve and even save the lives of those affected by this disease.
Contact the Lymphoma Patient Group for further information on lymphoma and their regular support group meetings, or visit www.beCANCERaware.co.za
Lymphoma Patient Group
Johannesburg: Hildagard Hlophe 082 827 7299 or Natalie Toner: 082 887 8218
Durban: Charmaine Nundeekasen 082 828 0283
Cape Town: Carl Liebenburg 082 566 0022,
People Living with Cancer Buddy Program
a division of FCB South Africa
+27 82 729 5117(Mobile)
+27 11 676 2034 (Office Line)
+27 11 676 2016 (Direct Fax)