Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 15, 2010 - WLAD

Just what I need - another acronym in my life!

(Just kidding.) Actually, I'm glad to talk about this particular one. WLAD stands for World Lymphoma Awareness Day, which happens to be today.

And to think I almost missed it!

Not that it's any great celebration. It's just one of those education-and-p.r. vehicles, beloved of medical educators and professional fund-raisers.

There's clearly a need for it, though, because of statistics like these:

* Less than 50 per cent of people know anything about lymphoma, despite the fact that it's the 5th most common cancer, worldwide.

* Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of people don't even know that lymphoma is a form of cancer.

Check out the "Know Your Nodes" online mini-quiz, if you haven't already.

It's hard, sometimes, for survivors like me to explain lymphoma to others. It's a cancer, yes, but as a systemic (rather than localized) cancer, it can be hard for people to understand why the doctors can't just go in there with a scalpel and cut the bad stuff out.

It's also not influenced by any causal factors, like smoking or poor diet or exposure to environmental toxins (at least, not any cause that researchers have been able to puzzle out).

Apart from the occasional swollen lymph node protruding from the base of the neck or maybe in the armpit, if there are symptoms, they're invisible to most casual observers. Lots of people with lymphoma don't LOOK sick - except when they're getting chemo treatments, which can make them look a lot sicker than their disease ever did.

There are a lot of us around the world who have it, though, and it IS life-threatening (although, thankfully, we've got a whole lot of effective treatments that can keep it at bay for a very long time, even if some forms of it can't be cured).

So, Happy WLAD, everyone.

Be aware. Be VERY aware.

And do enjoy what's left of this beautiful fall day!


Whidbey Woman said...

Oh, I didn't know that! Thanks for posting this. My sister in law had Lymphoma and is currently NED.
I know you are busy, pastor, but I hope you;ll read the praise report I posted on my blog. God is good. All the time. :) Have a blessed week.

Monitoring Blood Glucose said...

I liked your post...Thank you for the post..

Carl said...

You're welcome!