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Supporting people with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Information for newly diagnosed patients

Treatment options in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

The treatment that you will be given for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is chosen specifically for you by your doctor. It depends on a range of factors, such as whether the disease is indolent or aggressive, the stage it is at, what type, or “grade”, it is, and your general health and age.

Patients with slow growing, indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who do not yet have symptoms may not need to be treated straight away but just monitored, which is known as “watch and wait”. Others with more advanced disease are treated with chemotherapy and/or monoclonal antibody therapy.

Aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treated straight away, as patients already have symptoms. Treatment will typically be chemotherapy in combination with monoclonal antibody therapy, although radiotherapy may also be used on large lymph nodes.
You should ask your doctor or nurse what sort of treatment you are going to have and its effect on the disease. Ask them to explain what side effects to expect for each treatment and what you can do to cope. Write the names of the treatments down in a notebook to help you to remember.

It’s important that you learn how to recognise and deal with any symptoms you experience during the treatment process, whether due to the disease or the treatment. This will make a huge difference to your life and help the healthcare team get the very best out of the medication.

Don’t be afraid of having treatment. It’s designed to help you to get better, and there are a range of medications and simple measures you can take to make things easier, which are discussed in detail on this website. Remember, understanding your treatment and being aware of what it is doing is one step towards helping your body get better.

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