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Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

  • Alternative Names

    Lymphoma - non-Hodgkin's; Lymphocytic lymphoma; Histiocytic lymphoma; Lymphoblastic lymphoma; Cancer - non-Hodgkin's lymphoma


    Treatment

    Treatment depends on:

    • The type of lymphoma
    • The stage of the cancer when you are first diagnosed
    • Your age and overall health
    • Symptoms, including weight loss, fever, and night sweats

    Radiation therapy may be used for disease that is confined to one body area.

    Chemotherapy is the main type of treatment. Most often,multiple different drugs are used in combination together.

    Another drug, called rituximab (Rituxan), is often used to treat B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

    Radioimmunotherapy may be used in some cases. This involves linking a radioactive substance to an antibody that targets the cancerous cells and injecting the substance into the body.

    People with lymphoma that returns after treatment or does not respond to treatment may receive high-dose chemotherapy followed by an autologous bone marrow transplant (using stem cells from yourself).

    Additional treatments depend on other symptoms. They may include:

    • Transfusion of blood products, such as platelets or red blood cells
    • Antibiotics to fight infection, especially if a fever occurs

    Support Groups

    The stress of illness may be eased by joining a support group whose members share common experiences and problems.

    See: Cancer - support group


    Expectations (prognosis)

    Low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma usually cannot be cured by chemotherapy alone. However, the low-grade form of this cancer progresses slowly, and it may take many years before the disease gets worse or even requires any treatment.

    Chemotherapy can often cure many types of high-grade lymphoma. However, if the cancer does not respond to chemotherapy drugs, the disease can cause rapid death.


    Complications
    • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
    • Infection
    • Side effects of chemotherapy drugs

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of this disorder.

    If you have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, call your health care provider if you experience persistent fever or other signs of infection.