Here’s how you can support Lymphoma warriors and survivors

It’s one of the most common cancers in the country

Did you know that Lymphoma is one of the top 15 cancers in the Philippines affecting around 11,000 Filipinos every year? Life is already demanding living the pandemic, and we can only imagine the challenges cancer warriors and survivors face in times like these. The lack of awareness about the illness and how we can give assistance to them doesn’t help and this is why it is important to know what we can do and how we can comfort them.  

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in the immune system’s infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes. The lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and other areas of the body contain these cells, and Lymphoma leads lymphocytes to change and increase out of control.

Some of the common symptoms of this illness include enlarged lymph nodes, chills, weight loss, and fatigue that can be mistaken to be caused by other conditions such as an infection—which is why getting checked by a doctor is important for proper diagnosis.

This September, as World Lymphoma Awareness is being recognized, Lymphoma Philippines, a non-profit organization for Lymphoma patients, survivors, and caregivers aims to spread awareness on medically-approved Lymphoma-related campaigns in the country.

The lack of information is what inspired cancer survivor Jheric Delos Angeles and his wife Anna Tapel-Delos Angeles to create a community for them. Dedicated to Filipino patients and their family members, Lymphoma Philippines aims to educate more people and provide much needed support to those in need, including fighting for better healthcare.

Rhiz, a Lymphoma cancer patient, shares her experience living with the disease amid the pandemic, “It’s very hard. The agony is double,” shares Rhiz. “During the pandemic, going to the hospital was difficult and scary for cancer patients like me. As it is, we cannot afford to get Covid.”

Christine, a Lymphoma patient caregiver, echoes Rhiz’s sentiments regarding hospital visits. Aside from that, patients’ income was cut off for a time during the lockdown and they had to rely on their savings to continue medication.

Because of cases like this, Lymphoma Philippines hopes to continue spreading information and possibly save lives. The organization along with The Carewell Community Foundation, Erwin P. Cabanag Adult Leukemia Ministry (EPCALM,) Kanser sa Adolescents and Young Adults (KAYA,) and The Philippine Cancer Society, in partnership with Takeda Healthcare Philippines, held a public online event to mark the World Lymphoma Awareness Day, and share practical information beneficial to Filipino Lymphoma patients and their families. This includes:

●      Mental wellness advice for patients and their loved ones

●      A private Facebook group for patients and their loved ones where they can get

information and support from each other

●      Patient navigation that helps patients in their journey from diagnosis to post-treatment and connects them with the right agencies and groups

●      Emotional support groups in partnership with Kanser sa Adolescents and Young Adults (KAYA) and The Carewell Community Foundation

●      Social work services that can assist patients in their journey

“It is an unimaginably difficult journey for patients and their loved ones living with cancer. Having gone through it myself, a strong support system is crucial in the journey and we at Lymphoma Philippines are committed to lending help however possible,” shares Lymphoma Philippines co-founder Jheric Delos Angeles.

For more information, visit Lymphoma Philippines on Facebook or its website

Featured image by stefamerpik on Freepik