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Supporting people with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Questions the doctor may ask

Keypoints

  • The questions a doctor will ask a patient with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma vary from patient to patient and with the stage of the disease
  • It is always important for the doctor to hear from the patient about how the condition, and its treatment, are affecting them
  • This can have a bearing on not only what treatments are given but also what tests are carried out during follow-up visits

Introduction

The questions that the doctor may ask will vary for every patient with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, depending on the patient's individual circumstances. The questions will also vary depending on whether the lymphoma is just newly diagnosed, whether treatment has been started, or whether a treatment course has finished. The questions play an important part in helping the doctor to diagnose the disease, assess the effects of treatment, and understand how the lymphoma and the treatment is affecting the patient's life.

 

Questions play an important part in helping doctors to diagnose non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, assess the effects of treatment, and understand how the disease and its treatment are affecting the patient's life
Questions help diagnose non-Hodgkins lymphoma

 

At an initial visit to see the lymphoma team, the doctor may go over the events that have led to the referral to the team. The doctor is likely to ask about any symptoms that the patient may have had, what led to a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma being suspected, and what tests have been done. Although much of this information is likely to be in the patient's notes already, it is often helpful for the doctor to go through it again with a new patient.

During treatment, the doctor is likely to ask about how the treatment is going and about any side effects of the treatment. Patients who are finding side effects troublesome may want to discuss whether there is anything that can be done to avoid them or to minimise them.

After treatment is finished, at follow-up visits and regular check-ups, the doctor is likely to ask about the patient's general health and about any symptoms that the patient may have had since the last visit.

Sometimes, at any visit, the doctor may wish to organise tests. Some of these tests may be the same as the staging tests and blood tests that are performed when non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is first diagnosed. These tests are a way of checking whether the lymphoma is relapsing or growing and whether it has responded to treatment.


 

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