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The SA Lymphoma Patient Group recently hosted World Lymphoma Awareness Day to increase awareness.
Lymphoma is a form of blood cancer that destroys the body's immune system. Lymphoma are cancers that develop in the lymph system, which is part of the body's immune system.
Hildergard Hlope, chairman of the SA Lymphoma Patient Group said the event was held to demonstrate hope for people diagnosed with the disease.
"We wanted to encourage patients, survivors and their fami- lies to share their experiences and support one another. We also wanted to increase knowledge of this disease, its symptoms and its treatment," she said.
Research shows that worldwide more than one million people are living with lymphoma. Of these, 60percent are male and 40 percent female. It is estimated that 25000 people die every year from the disease. Lymphomas are divided into two general types: Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.
The non-Hodgkin is the most common. It affects people in the age group 45 years and older. It is frequently misdiagnosed because its symptoms are similar to diseases such as influenza and TB. It occurs more frequently in HIV-infected people.
Symptoms of lymphoma include the swelling of the lymph node, weight loss, feeling tired, night sweats and itching, usually deep under the skin.
Hlope said, lymphoma, depen- ding on its type, can be successfully treated.
"The key to effectively fighting lymphoma lies in creating awareness because it increases the chances of early diagnosis and treatment which can save the lives of those affected," she said.
Treatment depends on the particular cell characteristics of the lymphoma, its location, and how much it has spread, as well as the strength of a person's immune system.
For more information go to www.lymphoma.org