SOUTH AFRICA – Roche Pharmaceuticals South Africa marks the World Lymphoma Awareness Day (WLAD) with calls to improve the ways lymphomas are diagnosed, treated and tracked as it is the most common blood cancer.

Lymphomas represent one of the most frequent cancer types in Africa and approximately 30,000 non-Hodgkin lymphomas occur in the region each year and these tumors are in among the top-ten cancers in the geographical region.

Roche Pharma’s tough call to action was made during this year’s commemoration of the World Lymphoma Awareness Day, celebrated on 15th September every year, to build awareness, galvanize support and raise funds to combat the threat of lymphomas.

This year’s WLAD slogan, “We Can’t Wait”, aims to highlight the urgent need to improve the ways lymphomas are diagnosed, treated and tracked in a bid to ensure better access to treatment and care for the blood cancer that targets the lymphatic system, the body’s disease-fighting network.

Although, ongoing research is providing a deeper understanding of the different types of lymphomas, knowledge gaps still remain thus improved tracking and monitoring of subtypes will uncover more insights on disease prevalence and outcomes to further improve patient care.

Roche said that World Lymphoma Awareness Day was initiated in 2004 by the Lymphoma Coalition and its patient group members, adding that this year will unpack the myriad of ways that the COVID-19 pandemic affected people living with lymphomas.

Head of market access and public policy at Roche South Africa Dr. Kgothatso Motumi explained that the pandemic resulted in delayed access to treatment and care, hesitancy in seeking medical care, delays in diagnosis and an increased mental health burden on people living with lymphoma and caregivers.

Dr. Kgothatso Motumi reaffirmed that Roche will continue to address unmet medical needs through excellence in science and developing medicines and diagnostics that will help patients live longer and better lives.

She noted that lymphoma symptoms are also associated with common illnesses like influenza or viral infections thus patients tend to overlook their symptoms and many people delay consulting a medical professional.

In addition, she urged individuals experiencing any of these symptoms persistently to seek medical attention since early detection of cancer is one of the most decisive factors that contribute to increasing the chances of successful treatment.

Having the opportunity to hear directly from those affected by lymphoma helps to remind us at Roche to continuously prioritize the individual, and reinforces the importance of holistic care,” said Dr Motumi.

Dr Motumi emphasized that it is not only critical to increase awareness of the disease but to highlight the needs of the lymphoma community to ensure the best treatment and outcomes for patients and continued progress through research.


We greatly value collaborations with patient groups, who generously offer their experience, expertise and perspective as we work together to improve patient’s lives in communities in dire need of cancer health services across Africa,” added Dr Motumi.

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