Sydney Opera House turns Lime Green for
World Lymphoma Awareness Day!
The sails of the Sydney Opera House will be lit a stunning Lime green on September 15 to mark World Lymphoma Awareness Day and Lymphoma Australia will be holding their second Gala night to acknowledge and support the thousands of Australians diagnosed with this cancer each year.
Last year, Carl Allegra was the inspiration behind the inaugural dinner for Lymphoma Australia. However, this year Carl’s memory, inspiration and legacy to this cancer will be remembered by his daughter Jessica on September 15 in the shadow of the lime green Opera House.
Carl, like other Australians diagnosed with this cancer, lost his battle only 18 months after being diagnosed with Diffuse Large B Cell non Hodgkin Lymphoma.
An Australian is diagnosed with lymphoma every 2 hours and another Australian dies every 6 hours form this cancer.
The incidence of lymphoma is increasing every year; it is now the 5th most common cancer and remains the most common malignant disease in young Australians.
Lymphoma Australia aims to increase community and health-care sector awareness of this common cancer, how it presents and how to get the best outcome for patients. Lymphoma is a complex illness and requires expert management to ensure accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment.
Patients like Carl Allegra and his family have made a difference for this cancer and with this type of community support Lymphoma Australia has been able to provide a framework for assistance for patients and carers, including social networking and disease specific information.
While there is some recognition that weight loss and sweats at night can indicate lymphoma, most patients feel perfectly well when they are diagnosed. There is often delay in recognizing the disease as a consequence. Swollen glands or lymph nodes that don’t go away are just one way the disease declares itself. The symptoms and signs can be very subtle.
For more information about lymphoma, visit Lymphoma Australia www.lymphoma.org.au
Lymphoma Australia, is a not for profit charity providing support and information for Lymphoma patients and their families. In addition to this Lymphoma Australia also aims to raise community awareness about this cancer and to raise funds for a cure.
Lymphoma Fact Sheet
What are lymphomas?
Lymphoma is the term used for all the cancers of the lymphatic system. It is also sometimes described as a group of blood cancers. Lymphomas occur when lymphocytes develop abnormally or fail to die when instructed to. They then begin to collect in the lymph nodes and form tumours. Like normal lymphocytes, cancerous lymphocytes can grow in different areas of the body, including lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood and other organs.
There are over 45 different sub-types of lymphoma that are divided into two main types: Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
Hodgkin lymphomas are typically characterized by the presence of abnormal cells called Reed-Sternberg cells. Of the two, this type is rarer and in 2011, it is estimated 6% of new cases will be diagnosed in Australia each year.
Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) actually account for a group of over 30 cancers that affect the lymphatic system. Although all classified as NHL, the cells of each type differs under a microscope and they develop and spread differently (e.g., slowly or aggressively). In 2011, it is estimated that 5,000 new cases will be diagnosed in Australia
Signs and symptoms
The most common symptom of lymphoma is swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin. Often, especially in the early stages of the disease, the swelling may not cause discomfort or pain.
Other symptoms include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained fevers
- Drenching night sweats
- Lack of energy, fatigue
- Itchy skin
- Persistent cough
Signs and symptoms of lymphoma are often misdiagnosed as flu or fatigue which can delay diagnosis. If left untreated, some lymphomas can be fatal within a short period of time.
It is important that both medical professionals and people everywhere know and understand the signs and symptoms of lymphomas so they can be diagnosed as early as possible.