Why have World Lymphoma Awareness Day?
Lymphoma is still a very misunderstood and misdiagnosed cancer despite the fact that so many people are currently living with it around the world. The signs and symptoms of lymphoma mimic other less-serious diseases, and it often misdiagnosed.
Awareness of this cancer needs to be raised amongst the general public, general practitioners and the healthcare community worldwide. This is why WLAD is so important and why even the smallest of efforts to raise awareness of lymphoma in your own community can have a huge impact.
Earlier in 2012, the Lymphoma Coalition conducted a Global Patient Survey to assess key factors that affect the lymphoma patient’s journey. The results of the 17-country, over 1600-participant survey were more alarming than anticipated and showed that misdiagnosis by first-line medical professionals was high as was the lack of awareness of lymphatic cancers in the general public. This means that despite having symptoms, patient still waited months, and some patients even waited years, to visit their doctors. Making this situation worse, some of those patients had to wait months to get a correct diagnosis.
For WLAD 2013, the Lymphoma Coalition collected patient stories of late and mis diagnosis from around the world. The stories collected reflected the startling facts collected in 2012. You can read these stories throughout the month of September on the LC homepage.
Awareness is Key
Awareness of the signs and symptoms of lymphomas is the key in saving lives. Awareness activities and initiatives, no matter how big or small, can have a huge impact on the life a person who may be living with lymphoma and may not recognize the signs and symptoms.
What can I do?
Raising awareness of lymphoma and the signs and symptoms shouldn't stop just because WLAD has passed. September is Blood Awareness Month and it's always the right time to educate yourself and the people around you! Put up a poster reminding your colleagues of the signs and symptoms or place something on the corporate intranet highlighting the signs and symptoms, sell your local awareness symbol, and contact your local patient organization for more information on what is going on in your community. Send out a press release reminding the general public and your constituents about the facts around lymphomas. You can also email the Know Your Nodes Quiz link to all your friends and family or post the link on your Facebook page. Even a simple Facebook status change or tweet with the link to the Know Your Nodes Quiz will go a long way in bringing some much needed attention to lymphomas, and potentially save the life a person you know.