The Facts on AYA Lymphoma
Updated: Mar 1, 2022
Lymphoma, the most common type of blood cancer, impacts people of many different ages in many different ways. Adolescents and young adults (AYAs), or people ages 15-39, face complex struggles and often dismiss the warning signs of lymphoma compared to younger or older patients. Yet, lymphoma is a real threat to AYAs – it accounts for 1-in-5 cancer diagnoses in young people. Keep reading to learn about the ways lymphoma impacts AYAs and how to recognize the warning signs and symptoms.
A main struggle in the diagnosis and treatment of AYA lymphoma is recognizing the symptoms. AYAs often dismiss early warning signs and symptoms of lymphoma and delay seeking medical attention because many cancer symptoms are associated with normal body changes that are common at this age. Furthermore, many symptoms of lymphoma are related to other illnesses, making it difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, stomach pain, tiredness, night sweats, fevers, poor appetite, losing weight, and itchiness.
In addition to struggles with warning signs, AYAs also have a more difficult time managing and treating lymphoma. Because people of this age have changing and developing bodies, it’s important to identify a healthcare team who understands the unique needs and characteristics of AYA lymphoma. Furthermore, AYAs struggle to manage lymphoma due to issues relevant to their age group. Common concerns for people diagnosed with AYA lymphoma include health insurance status, potential financial hardships, unique concerns regarding body image and fertility issues, and relationship impacts.
Although lymphoma is a scary topic, it’s important for AYAs to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms to receive a correct diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. It’s critical for AYAs to seek sound medical care as early as possible and avoid using the internet as a primary source of information about their condition. As with many other illnesses, awareness and early diagnosis are paramount for living a lymphoma free life.