September 16, 2021

Put lymphoma in the limelight

The community is encouraged to put lymphoma in the limelight during September, as part of Lymphoma Awareness Month.

Yesterday also marked World Lymphoma Awareness Day, which is celebrated every year on 15 September to raise awareness of cancers of the lymphatic system.

According to Lymphoma Australia – a charity dedicated to supporting lymphoma patients, carers and health professionals – there is a new lymphoma diagnosis every two hours in Australia. However, lymphoma is currently classed as a low priority cancer in Australia. Lymphoma Australia aims to improve community awareness to assist in early diagnosis and access to the best possible treatment.

As part of Lymphoma Awareness Month, the community is encouraged to show their support by wearing the colour lime for someone with lymphoma, share a fact to help raise awareness, take on a challenge and share #Lime4Lymphoma.

Naveeni Natkunarajah, Ward 3 Nurse Unit Manager, says lymphoma is the sixth most common cancer in the country.

“It is also the most common blood cancer affecting the lymphatic system – white blood cells – and can affect all age groups,” says Naveeni.

“Over the last 12 months, Northern Health has treated 274 inpatient admissions for various types of lymphoma.”

“There are 80 different sub types of lymphoma that are classified according to the rate of growth – with a new diagnosis every two hours and lives lost every six hours. Northern Health Cancer Services are going lime this September to put lymphoma in the limelight and support people who are experiencing this life changing illness. The monies raised will help patients and families who have been touched by lymphoma and assist in funding for specialist lymphoma care nurses.”

Northern Health’s Haematology Service under Cancer Services is expanding, says Naveeni, with a Haematology Specialist Outpatient Clinic Service and Day Oncology Treatment Centre, which now incorporates the NOAH@Home program, offering oncology and haematology treatment at home, together with Ward 3 for inpatient diagnostic investigation, diagnosis and treatment.

“We provide an inpatient consultation liaison with our Clinical Nurse Consultants, inpatient nursing treatment education, inpatient chemotherapy administration, together with discharge planning advice and resources for support. We have an on-call symptom review contact for patients to call following discharge with any questions, queries and support,” says Naveeni.

Featured image (left to right): Ward 3 Chemotherapy Trained Nurses Sarita Rai, Samantha Hewa Inaththappulige and Hashika Dharmatileka