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Too many Australians still unaware of lymphoma signs and symptoms risking delayed diagnosis

  • 7 in 10 Australians not confident in recognising the main symptoms of blood cancer, including lymphoma.
  • World Lymphoma Awareness Day provides opportunity to educate Australians about signs and symptoms to enable earlier diagnosis.
  • Free and confidential support line available for anyone impacted by a lymphoma diagnosis, contact 1800 620 420 or visit

Despite lymphoma being the most commonly diagnosed blood cancer in Australia, new research from the Leukaemia Foundation reveals 7 in 10 Australians are not confident in recognising the main symptoms of a blood cancer, like lymphoma, leaving them at risk of a life-threatening delayed diagnosis1.

The research also found that only a third (35%) of Australians believe that lymphoma is a blood cancer, meaning they could be missing out on crucial information and support2.

With 20 Australians diagnosed every day with lymphoma, Leukaemia Foundation CEO Chris Tanti said World Lymphoma Awareness Day provides an important opportunity to educate Australians about the common signs and symptoms of the disease.

“Some of the main symptoms of lymphoma can be subtle, including painless lumps around the lymph nodes usually in the neck, armpit or groin that may be dismissed as harmless. Other symptoms include night sweats, recurrent infections or fevers, and even itchy skin. Many Australians may downplay these as simply the result of a particularly severe winter virus season,” Mr Tanti said.

“As we move into spring and warmer weather it’s important to speak to your GP if you have ongoing symptoms that can’t be explained. We know that the sooner a diagnosis occurs, the greater chance you have of beating your blood cancer diagnosis.”

Lymphoma specifically affects the white blood cells in the body called lymphocytes, an important part of the immune system. In lymphoma, a cancerous change occurs in the developing lymphocyte cells. These lymphocytes don’t work properly and can multiply out of control.

“7,397 Australians are currently living with lymphoma and sadly 1,766 will lose their life to the disease this year. This is projected to nearly triple to 5,082 per year by 20353. With no way to prevent or screen for lymphoma, it’s crucially important that Australians are able to identify lymphoma symptoms to enable earlier diagnosis and access to treatment,” Mr Tanti said.

Mr Tanti said the Leukaemia Foundation continues to stand beside Australians living with lymphoma to advocate for the best care and treatment and provide personalised information and support no matter where they live.

“Hearing the words ‘you have lymphoma’ can be terrifying. We know too many Australians are left feeling overwhelmed, unsure – and alone. Whether you are currently living with lymphoma, undergoing treatment, in remission, a carer, or grieving the loss of a loved one, Australia’s blood cancer support line is now available to guide all Australians through the emotional, physical, and psychosocial challenges of blood cancer, including lymphoma,” Mr Tanti said.

Today, on World Lymphoma Awareness Day and beyond, the Leukaemia Foundation continues to stand with and support all Australians living with blood cancer, including lymphoma and their loved ones, reminding them that they are not alone.

Contact Australia’s blood cancer support line Monday to Friday from 10 am – 4 pm AEST via calling 1800 620 420 or anytime via #ThisIsBloodCancer

Lymphoma – facts and figures4:

  • In Australia today, more than 20 people will be told they have lymphoma and sadly 4 Australians lose their life from lymphoma every day.
  • 7,397 people will be diagnosed with lymphoma in Australia each year in 2022. This is projected to more than double to reach 17,171 people per year by 2035.

1, 2 [This] is Blood Cancer’ research findings
3, 4 Cancer data in Australia

Last updated on October 10th, 2022

Developed by the Leukaemia Foundation in consultation with people living with a blood cancer, Leukaemia Foundation support staff, haematology nursing staff and/or Australian clinical haematologists. This content is provided for information purposes only and we urge you to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis, treatment and answers to your medical questions, including the suitability of a particular therapy, service, product or treatment in your circumstances. The Leukaemia Foundation shall not bear any liability for any person relying on the materials contained on this website.