Lymphoma Awareness Day

By Medical Expert Team

Sep 23 , 2022 | 2 min read

Lymphoma Awareness Day is dedicated to raising awareness of lymphoma, an increasingly common form of cancer. It is held on September 15 every year.

What is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer. It is cancer of lymphocytes or lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are like filters; they trap harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses, which are then destroyed by lymphocytes. So it’s common to have lymph nodes enlarged in our body for several reasons. In lymphoma, there is an uncontrolled division of lymphocytes, and these cells accumulate in the body, usually in the neck, armpit, or groin region. There are 2 types of lymphoma- Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

India Specific Situation

In 2020, around 11,300 patients were diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL), and 41,000 patients with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) were diagnosed. Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common subtype of lymphoma, with an average age of 57 years at presentation. Young age (less than 65 years), early stage, favourable prognostic scores, and use of rituximab favourably improve outcomes. As per the OncoCollect multicenter registry, Hodgkin lymphoma appears at a younger median age of 38 years; 50% of patients had symptoms, and more than 50% of patients presented in the advanced stage. The 5-year survival outcomes were 85.4% and 74.6% for early and advanced stages, respectively.

Even though the knowledge base and expertise to treat lymphoma continue to increase in India, we do have challenges specific to India. This is due to multiple factors like lack of holistic care systems, lack of access to affordable health care, a lot of misinformation, and a very important factor, lack of awareness about blood cancers.

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Symptoms of Lymphoma

The most common symptom is painless firm swellings often noted in the neck, armpits, or in the groin region. Enlarged nodes in the chest may sometimes present with breathing difficulty. Common symptoms to watch out for include:

  1. Fevers higher than 100.4°F for 2 or more weeks without other another cause

  2. Unintentional weight loss of 10% or more over the last 6 months

  3. Significant fatigue (inability to work or perform usual activities)

  4. Excessive night sweats for more than 1 month without another cause

Treatment of Lymphoma

Lymphoma can be cured.

Early diagnosis of lymphoma is important and can give people the best chances of survival. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and monoclonal antibodies are the main forms of treatment.

Many people are afraid of the word chemotherapy. Nowadays, a lot of treatments have evolved, and adverse effects are largely well managed. In most situations, treatment is finished in 5-6 months, and a large proportion can be cured. Stem cell transplants or bone marrow transplant is used in some situations and may increase the chances of cure.

Increased awareness about lymphoma will allow patients to recognize signs and symptoms of lymphoma early in the course of the disease. Awareness of disease will also enable patients to ask for specialist treatment with haematologists at a timely start of therapy and thereby improving the ultimate outcomes.

Written and Verified by:

Medical Expert Team