September 15th each year is dedicated to raising awareness about lymphoma in terms of recognizing symptoms, early diagnosis and treatment.
Lymphoma is the most common form of cancer of the lymph tissue, which plays a great role in fighting off infection because it is an integral part of the body’s defense system. There is no program of early detection of this disease, which is why the only way to detect lymphoma early is to educate and inform the public about lymphoma as a disease about which little is known.
It is very important to recognize the symptoms of this disease on time. With an early diagnosis, along with adequate treatment, lymphoma can be treated successfully. In addition to information stands on Cvjetni Trg (Flower Square), there will also be a blood drive to collect blood samples for tissue typing and joining the Registry of voluntary bone marrow donors.
Lymphomas are malignancies of the lymphocytes. They are divided into two large groups: Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or lymphocyte lymphoma. In Croatia, out of every 100,000 residents, 15 will be diagnosed with lymphoma, which means about 675 people every year. In the world, 1 million people are living with lymphoma, and everyday almost 1000 people are newly diagnosed.
The most common symptoms are:
- painless lumps in the neck, armpit or groin,
- night sweating,
- unexplained fever,
- loss of weight and fatigue,
- coughing and shortness of breath,
- itchiness all over your body.
Lumps connected with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are also manifested in other parts of the body, for example the stomach, nervous system and skin. The only method to precisely diagnose lymphoma is a biopsy of the enlarged lymph nodes.
Raising awareness about lymphoma will allow better identification of the signs and symptoms of the disease, which will lead to earlier diagnosis and timely treatment, increased availability of information, as well as the implementation of support programs for the patients and families.
This year, World Lymphoma Awareness Day in Croatia will be marked by a regional meeting of the hematology patients’ societies. This will take place in Dubrovnik from September 16 to 19, 2011 and it is organized by the Croatian Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Zagreb.
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