‘No cancer is a good cancer’
Newresearch brings stigma of Lymphoma to the limelight
Sunday, 15 September 2019: New research released today from Lymphoma Australia has exposed the negative stigma surrounding Lymphoma, with 68 per cent of Australians living, or caring for someone, with this cancer reporting a stigma of ‘the good cancer’ associated with this disease.
The study found 69 per cent of respondents have had their, or a loved-one’s, Lymphoma described as ‘the good cancer’ or something similar, while over half, 63 per cent, of respondents believe most people don’t understand Lymphoma is a cancer.
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system which exists throughout the body when uncontrolled growth of abnormal lymphocytes (white blood cells) occurs.
Due to the fact the blood system involves many organs, there may be cancerous tumours in many parts of the body.
Donna Gairns National Lymphoma Care Nurse Manager, Lymphoma Australia, believes no cancer should be deemed a good cancer.
“It is just unacceptable that people label Lymphoma as a “good cancer” to have.
Lymphoma deaths are equal to that of skin cancer, and with 80 different subtypes it is a lot more common than people realise. This year it has been estimated that Lymphoma will be the number one cancer in teenagers, and it claims the lives of four Australians a day,” said Donna
The research, which has been released to coincide with World Lymphoma Awareness Day, Sunday, 15 September, aims to put Lymphoma in the limelight so that people know more about the condition and how common it is.
Sharon Winton , CEO of Lymphoma Australia, said the survey results are a hard read but a sad truth.
“We’ve heard from people living with Lymphoma including children that friends, colleagues and even oncology staff have said they are lucky to have it, as it is the ‘good cancer’ which can be cured. The stark reality is that no cancer is a good cancer when you’re fighting for your life – something these individuals do on a daily basis,” said Winton.
“With 97 per cent of respondents suggesting they would like to see Lymphoma covered more broadly and frequently by mainstream media there is clearly an appetite for better awareness of the condition, from those living with it,” said Winton.
The survey was conducted by Lymphoma Australia and showed people living with the condition want the Australian public to know:
- Lymphoma is not a ‘good cancer’ – it is a serious
and potentially life-threatening condition (45 per cent)
- Living with Lymphoma is a difficult and emotionally
draining journey, the full impact of which often cannot be seen physically (33
Lymphoma Australia is seeking to raise awareness of this cancer throughout September with all the countries that make up the Lymphoma Coalition. The colour lime also represents lymphoma as per the global cancer rainbow.
Melissa Wells an Emergency Department nurse whose son Jack, 19, had Lymphoma said:
“No cancer is a good cancer and it really cuts deep when people say it is. Jack is the most positive person I have ever known, and he would agree that Lymphoma is not a good cancer. In fact he often says he would never wish this on anybody else. He certainly doesn’t feel lucky.”
“Every day is a challenge because, whether it is physically or emotionally, the effects of cancer don’t leave you. But together we make the most of every day that he feels good and hope he continues to get stronger.”
Lymphoma Australia is encouraging all Australians to get involved this September by going Lime and helping to raise funds through a number of activities. Australians can get involved today here.
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About Lymphoma Australia
Lymphoma Australia is a national charity dedicated to making a difference in the lives of lymphoma patients and their families across the country. As the only organisation in Australia that works solely with lymphoma our mission is to support Australians touched by lymphoma, raise awareness of this cancer, and support research for a cure.
Lymphoma Australia provides Australia’s Lymphoma Care Nurses who are professionally qualified nurses to support people diagnosed to navigate their journey and connect them to support networks.
- It is estimated that nearly 6,500 Australians will be diagnosed Lymphoma in 2019, which equates to 17 people per day.
- Common symptoms include: swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, rash or itching, a persistent cough or shortness of breath.
- Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system and is the number one blood cancer in Australia
- There are more than 80 subtypes of lymphoma and many are incurable
- It is the 3rd most common cancer in children.
- The cause of lymphoma is unknown.
- Lymphoma doesn’t discriminate — anyone can get it.
- The number one cancer in 15-25 years in Australia
No cancer is a good cancer
research, conducted by Lymphoma Australia, data on file.