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World Lymphoma Awareness Day

World Lymphoma Awareness Day

Selena Dewar’s serenity in the face of serious health issues is both extraordinary and inspiring. Despite dealing with three different lymphoma diagnoses, the Auckland mother-of-one remains the picture of forward looking positivity.

Thursday (September 15) is World Lymphoma Awareness Day (WLAD) and Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC) is calling for greater awareness of this disease.

Over 800 people in New Zealand are diagnosed with lymphoma every year and 1,000 people around the world are diagnosed every day.

This year, the international Lymphoma Coalition, a network comprised of 65 organisations from countries across the world, are encouraging health professionals, patients and caregivers to insist on subtype-specific identification to ensure the right treatment and approach is taken.

When Selena received her first lymphoma diagnosis she struggled to deal with the inexact diagnosis she was given.

“They knew it was a type of lymphoma, but they weren’t able to work out exactly what type, so I was treated with immune suppressant drugs. The lump reduced and we just crossed our fingers and carried on.”

Three years later, Selena received her second lymphoma diagnosis.

A biopsy revealed it was marginal zone non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Selena says that it was a relief to finally get an exact diagnosis.

After giving birth to a son and receiving a third lymphoma diagnosis, Selena is now on maintenance treatment to ensure the lymphoma does not continue to reoccur.

Pru Etcheverry, CEO of Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand and Chair of the Lymphoma Coalition stresses the need for New Zealanders to have awareness about symptoms of lymphoma.

“Lymphoma can be difficult to both diagnose and understand so it’s important that New Zealanders know as much about the cancer as possible and how it can affect you.

Those experiencing persistent symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, regular and frequent fevers, night sweats, weight loss, lack of energy and constant fatigue should ensure they get checked by their GP,” says Ms Etcheverry.

To read more about Selena’s lymphoma journey click here: https://www.leukaemia.org.nz/patient_story/selena/

World Lymphoma Awareness Day

World Lymphoma Awareness Day (WLAD) is a global event observed every year onSeptember 15.

WLAD is an international effort to raise much-needed awareness about lymphoma. Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand is a member of the international Lymphoma Coalition which aims to raise awareness about lymphoma. Lymphoma is increasing in incidence globally; an increase which is reflected in New Zealand where:

• Lymphoma is the sixth most common cancer in New Zealand

• Lymphoma is the most common cancer in 15-24 year olds

• Over 800 people in New Zealand are diagnosed with lymphoma every year

• Close to 300 New Zealanders die from lymphoma every year

• Lymphoma is more common than leukaemia

• Lymphoma is increasing in incidence globally; this increase is reflected in New Zealand

Results from a 2016 Lymphoma Coalition Survey conducted in New Zealand amongst 150 respondents indicated that:

• 84% of patients experienced a fear of relapse after treatment

• 70% experienced changes in independence

• 38% were affected by stress released to financial issues

• 45% experienced loss/reduction in employment


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