AwareNotScared: Lymphoma Awareness Among Adolescents and Young Adults

Cancer is often an avoided topic in conversation – which is understandable. It’s scary and uncomfortable to think about, so we like to push it away. And for adolescents and young adults (AYA), it’s easy to dismiss cancer as something that doesn’t affect them but only older individuals. However, the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) wants to change this way of thinking. They want to remove the stigma that exists around cancer; change it into something that isn’t scary to talk about.

It’s better to be aware rather than scared when it comes to lymphoma – that way we can make cancer awareness a part of our holistic health.

About Lymphoma

An important part of awareness is education; we need to know what it is we’re staying aware of. So let’s dive into lymphoma. It’s the most common form of blood cancer, and it can be divided into two categories: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The former is defined by involvement of Reed-Sternberg cells, and it includes five types of cancer. The latter holds the remaining 90+ forms of lymphoma.


While different types of lymphoma bring their own symptoms, there are some common affects. These include:

  • Sweating
    • This usually happens at night
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
    • These may or may not be painful
  • Fatigue
  • Itching
  • Unexplained weight loss

As you can see, it may be difficult to distinguish these symptoms from those of more common illnesses, like the flu. The difference is that lymphoma symptoms will persist for longer than two weeks.

Awareness Among AYA

AYA – which is defined as those between the ages of 15 and 39 – like to push away the thought of cancer; it’s scary and unlikely to affect them, right? Actually, nearly 90,000 AYA receive a cancer diagnosis every year. Because of this, it’s important to stay aware of your own health, track how you’re feeling, and make cancer awareness part of your holistic health!

With these changes, it’s easier to catch cancer early, which means a faster diagnosis, quicker treatment, and better patient outcomes.

It’s called the Holistic Health Initiative, and its goal is to erase the stigma that exists around cancer. It’s okay to talk about! In fact, staying aware, educated, and talking about it are good things! We should be Aware Not Scared!

To learn more about the LRF’s goals within the AYA community, click here. If you want to learn about the Holistic Health Initiative, visit the Instagram!

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