15 September, Lymphoma Awareness Day
Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system with around 1,250 new cases diagnosed every year in Belgium. This includes people of all ages, both children and adults. The multidisciplinary teams from the Haematology Departments at the Brussels University Hospital (Jules Bordet Institute, the Queen Fabiola Children's University Hospital and the Erasmus Hospital) provide personalised care for each patient, in line with the latest innovations in clinical and fundamental research.
What is lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system that develops when a malfunction occurs in the production of lymphocytes (cells playing a major role in the immune system) that leads to the production of abnormal cells. Cancerous lymphocytes, like healthy lymphocytes, can develop in various regions of the body, such as the lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow. There are two principal types of lymphatic cancer: Hodgkin's lymphoma (Hodgkin's disease) and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).
Multidisciplinary care for children and adults
Within the Brussels University Hospital or H.U.B., consisting of the Jules Bordet Institute, the Queen Fabiola Children's University Hospital and the Erasmus Hospital, lymphoma patients are treated and cared for by multidisciplinary teams that include haematologists, anatomical pathologists, radiologists, nuclear medicine doctors, nurses, psychologists, dieticians, physiotherapists and nurses specialised in aesthetic care. Adult lymphomas are treated at the Jules Bordet Institute where every year more than 200 new cases are diagnosed and 1,500 patients are treated or monitored. Child lymphomas are treated at the Queen Fabiola Children's University Hospital where, on average, 10 lymphoma patients are treated every year. The dialogue between the H.U.B. teams makes it possible to pool the expertise of the different care teams, in particular for certain lymphoma subtypes. This ensures that each patient receives personalised care and support at each stage of their care pathway, from diagnosis to treatment and through to long-term follow-up in the event of complications.
Recognised and certified services at the leading edge of innovation
The H.U.B. Haematology Departments ensure that patients have access to the most innovative treatment in the framework of clinical trials. The Jules Bordet Institute Haematology Department is recognised as a European reference centre for rare lymphomas. To continuously improve our knowledge in connection with the treatment and care of adult patients, the teams are active within the Lymphoma Study Association (LYSA) research group. In paediatrics, the Queen Fabiola University Children's Hospital is a member of the European Network of Paediatric Hodgkin's Lymphoma and of the European Intergroup for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. These teams are also accredited for transplants and cell therapy, a testimony to their high quality and a guarantee of safety for all. Lymphoma patients and their families are entitled to request a second opinion, irrespective of their age and the original hospital. Our teams are always available to meet and discuss with them.
Teams who listen to the patients
Always seeking to improve dialogue with patients, the H.U.B. Haematology Departments instigated the creation of the patients' association "Action Lymphomes Wallonie Bruxelles" (ALWB). Within this framework the teams cooperate free of charge with partner patients.