Worldwide, approximately one million people live with lymphoma. At the same time, less than 50% of the population know about this potentially life-threatening disease.
On World Lymphoma Awareness Day (15 September), we highlight a few important facts:
- Lymphomas are cancers that develop in the lymph system, which is part of the body's immune system.
- Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer diagnosed in adults and the third most common cancer diagnosed in children.
- The different sub-types of lymphoma are divided into two main types: Hodgkin’s lymphoma (or Hodgkin’s disease) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Worldwide, over 62 000 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma every year. Of those, 60% are male and 40% are female. Approximately 25 000 people die every year from this disease.
- While the exact cause of lymphoma remains unknown, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma occurs much more frequently in HIV-infected people than in the general population.
- There are some indications that certain chemicals, such as insecticides and wood-preserving materials, are linked to this form of cancer.
- Lymphoma often causes fever and night sweats. Further lymphoma symptoms depend on which areas of the body are affected, for example the neck, groin or underarm area.
- Lymphoma may be treated with chemotherapy and lymphoma involving the brain may be treated with radiation therapy.
- Effectiveness of treatment depends on the particular cell characteristics of the lymphoma, its location, and how much it has spread, as well as the strength of your immune system.
- Early diagnosis and treatment greatly improves the outcome of the disease.
Sources: Lymphoma Research Foundation (www.lymphoma.org) and Lymphoma Coalition (www.lymphomacoalition.org)
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