By Niall Hunter-Editor
Survivors of lymphoma, their families and friends living in Ireland today released 514 'balloons of hope' in the centre of Dublin to mark the third annual World Lymphoma Day, which is tomorrow, September 15.
Each balloon released represents one of the cases of lymphoma diagnosed in Ireland each year.
The aim of the awareness day is to increase awareness of lymphoma and symptom recognition, achieving earlier diagnosis and ultimately improving treatment outcomes and survival rates.
The ceremony was conducted by Lymphoma Support Ireland (LSI), the national patient support group for patients with Hodgkinís or Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and the Irish Cancer Society.
LSI said it wants to get across the message that there is hope after a cancer diagnosis.
"Current treatments are very effective and patients are seeing really good results, which mean much better changes of survival than ever before and the very real prospect of a lasting recovery," said Isobel Thompson of LSI.
To mark the awareness day, the Lymphoma Forum of Ireland (LFI) has announce the imminent release of a guide to the diagnosis and treatment of these cancers in line with World Health Organisation classification and best international practice.
Prof Peter Daly, cancer specialist at Dublinís St Jamesís Hospital, said the guidelines represent a major effort to improve the management of the complex group of diseases under the heading of lymphoma. He said many of these are amenable to cure.
The research division of the Irish Cancer Society is currently funding a major piece of research into the treatment of lymphoma.
The researchers are aiming to identify a small number of genes which provide a signature for the disease which will help in its diagnosis.
Anyone concerned about lymphoma or any cancer can contact the Irish Cancer Society at 1800 200 700 or visit: http://www.cancer.ie/
Also, see http://www.lymphoma.ie/