P.I.T.S. – Do you recognise the symptoms?

A new campaign has recently been launched to raise awareness of Lymphoma – the UK’s most common cancer in those under thirty.

The campaign, named P.I.T.S., is mainly aimed at university students. One third of young adults have never heard of Lymphoma or know the symptoms, yet they are more likely to be affected.

Lymphoma is a cancer that usually starts in the lymphatic system which is part of the body’s immune system. One of the main signs of Lymphoma is persistent lumps or a painless swelling which tend to be found around lymph nodes in your neck, groin and armpits, leading to the campaign name of P.I.T.S.

P.I.T.S. is also an acronym for the most common warning signs and symptoms of Lymphoma. These include, Persistent lumps, Itching, Tiredness and Sweating. Many university students ignore the symptoms as they believe it’s just part of their student lifestyle or they’re too embarrassed to see a doctor.

Campaign coordinator, Dave Owen, hopes to raise awareness of the disease among students: “Our campaign is helping to raise awareness among university students of the common signs and symptoms, which can often be written off as typical ‘student wear and tear’.

“Lymphoma in young people is highly curable and we really want to encourage anyone with any of the symptoms or concerns to get to their GP. Please don’t be embarrassed or think that you are wasting their time!” he says.

By raising the awareness of the cancer the Lymphoma Association believe they could see an increase in young people seeking an earlier diagnosis and starting important treatment at a much earlier stage.

P.I.T.S Photo: PITS campaign, Lymphoma Association

For their campaign, the Lymphoma Association has released a 95 second animation which is hosted on Youtube. It features a guy watching television while his armpits have a conversation with each other about the signs and symptoms of Lymphoma. The Lymphoma Association believe they are breaking the mould with a light-hearted animation as “humour and cancer don’t usually go hand in hand”.

The video is proving popular, with almost 1,000 views in its first week. The campaigners are now calling on students to help the animation turn viral by sharing it with your friends and liking the campaign on Facebook.
Some students have said that before watching the YouTube video, they had never heard of Lymphoma and can understand why some people don’t realise they have it:

“I’ve heard of Lymphoma and knew it was bad but I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. A lot of students who may have the symptoms might just think they’re run down, since I’ve been at university I’m always feeling tired,” says business student, James Taylor.

For more information on Lymphoma, go to http://www.takeapitstop.org.uk/.

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