Recently, I had the pleasure of helping out the Lymphoma Association at some Fresher Fairs. They were there to raise awareness of lymphoma as part of their PITS campaign. I don’t know what the stats are in the USA, but here in the UK, lymphoma is the most common cancer in the under 30’s and the sixth most common cancer fullstop, yet we know so little about it.
Whilst, I by no means am a medical professional, I have, unfortunately, come to know a fair amount about Hodgkin’s Lymphoma over the last year.
In a nutshell, lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic cells in the immune system. It is classed as a blood cancer and is spilt into two types. Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s. I don’t know much about the latter, but there are a lot of different types.
There isn’t a cause of Hodgkin’s, there isn’t anything that you could have done differently, or not done to ensure you don’t get it. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those things. There are certain “risk factors” though. You are more likely to get “The Hodge” if you are male, aged between 15-40, or over 55, if there is a family history, or if you have a weakened immune system due to HIV. Not that any of that actually means anything, because I had none of them, and I still got it.
I’ve always been very open throughout my treatment, I’ve written blogs, left facebook statuses etc, talked to my friends etc. I haven’t done this to gain sympathy (although it’s always nice to have some!) but to raise awareness.
So to all of you going through this, or if you are here because you know someone who is going through it, don’t hide away. Talk about it, don’t be scared.
Be lymphoma aware! It might just save your life!
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.