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  • Blood cancer awareness month | What is Lymphoma?

    Blood Cancer

    Following on from my last post, here’s my third post to support blood cancer awareness month! This week is Lymphoma awareness week so I thought it would be a good time to write about the signs, symptoms etc. of Lymphoma. So, your probably wondering what Lymphoma actually is right? Here’s a little lowdown.. Lymphoma occurs when lymphocytes (white blood cells that help to fight infection) become out of control. They divide in an abnormal way or do not die when they should.

    The lymphatic system runs throughout your body and includes lymph nodes (glands) as well as organs of your immune system. Lymph nodes are found throughout your body, often in groups. If you have lymphoma, abnormal lymphocytes can collect in your lymph nodes, often in your armpits, neck or groin. However, abnormal lymphocytes can collect in almost any part of your body.

    So that’s a quick lowdown on Lymphoma if you didn’t know already, below is a picture of the lymphatic system.

    Blood cancer

    There are two main types of Lymphoma:

    ▪️Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

    ▪️Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

    Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK. Around 11,500 people are diagnosed each year. About 1,700 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I bet your thinking what’s the difference between them.. Well, in Hodgkin’s lymphoma the biopsy shows cells called ‘reed-Sternberg cells or Hodgkin cells’, these are not present in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

    As well as the two main types of Lymphoma there are also sub-types, I won’t go into too much detail as it gets complicated but there are four classical types of Hodgkin’s lymphoma which are: Nodular sclerosing, Mixed cellularity, Lymphocyte-depleted & Lymphocyte-rich.

    For Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma it’s way more complicated, apparently there are more than 60 subtypes which I didn’t even know. If you would like to know more please click HERE and this will take you to the Cancer Research UK website.  
     

    Symptoms of Lymphoma 

    ▪️Swollen lymph nodes in neck, armpits or groin

    ▪️Fatigue 

    ▪️Unexplained weight loss

    ▪️Night sweats 

    ▪️Itching 

    ▪️Abdominal pain

    ▪️Persistant cough 

    ▪️Loss of appetite 

    ▪️Alcohol pain 

    I had 7 of these symptoms but never thought it was cancer, scary. 

    When asked if they know their nodes, only half (49%) said they know what their nodes do.. Although most people have heard of lymphoma, (52%) of people know very little or nothing about it. 67% of people didn’t know lymphoma is a type of cancer and that it has one of the fastest growing incidence rates worldwide. Increasing awareness of lymphoma will allow people around the world to better recognise it’s signs and symptoms, leading to earlier diagnosis and more timely treatment.

    BE AWARE, KNOW YOUR BODY! If something isn’t right, get it checked out!

    Are you doing anything to mark Lymphoma awareness week?

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