CAN warns against misdiagnosis of lymphoma
According to the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) what make lymphoma go unnoticed until it is to late, is that its symptoms bears a striking commonality to the annual bout of flu or Tuberculosis (TB) and one can often confuse lymphoma symptoms with flu symptoms or being run down, which will make you not want to seek medical attention until it is to late.
It is through this that CAN in collaborated with Campaigning for Cancer South Africa, Cancer Association of Botswana and Mauritius and launched the “Same symptoms, different diagnosis” campaign aimed at creating awareness about the symptoms of lymphoma that can mimic other diseases.
The campaign will be distribute awareness posters and educational information throughout GP practices and on social media.
“Delay in diagnosing lymphoma or misdiagnosing is a serious problem facing patients and often patients are subjected to incorrect treatment that delay the patient starting treatment at an early stage, which means that their survival is directly impacted,” said Melanie Teixeira a lymphoma patient and Director of Campaigning Cancer.
Namibia has a very high HIV-infection rate with where many people are living with HIV, with TB being the most serious opportunistic infection for these patients. HIV also has a strong association with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), particularly the aggressive B-cell lymphoma (2), where HIV-positive patients are most susceptible when their viral loads are high and CD4 counts are low.
Lymphoma is a cancer of the blood, affecting the lymphocyte cells that make up part of our immune system, they are found in bone marrow and in the lymph nodes which protect us against viruses and bacterial infection. When the cells become cancerous they can lead to lymph in the lymph nodes that are found in the neck, armpits, groin and stomach.