Treatment depends on the grade and stage of the cancer. If you have an indolent type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, your doctor may offer you the option of watchful waiting. During this time, your doctor will monitor you closely and begin treatment only when your condition starts to get worse.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is usually treated with:
- biological therapy (helps the body's immune system kill cancer cells)
- chemotherapy (medications that kill cancer cells)
- radiation therapy (high-dose X-rays to kill cancer cells)
- stem cell transplantation (healthy blood cells can be more quickly replaced)
Treatment may involve either one type of treatment, or a combination of treatment options. The treatment plan will depend on the type of lymphoma, the stage of the cancer, and other factors. Because many of the treatments for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can affect fertility, you doctor may discuss options such as banking sperm or harvesting eggs for future pregnancy.
There are two types of white blood cells in the body: T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes. People with lymphoma of the B-lymphocytes are more easily cured than those with T-lymphocyte lymphoma.
Early stages of the disease are treated by radiation therapy aimed at the cancerous tumour. The radiation usually prolongs the person's life, although it may not cure the disease.
More advanced or aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is usually treated with chemotherapy, using anticancer medications given one at a time or in combination. If treatment is started early in the disease, radiation plus combination chemotherapy can cure over half of all lymphomas. If the cancer doesn't go away, or if it returns, the chemotherapy may be increased or repeated.
Chemotherapy in addition to radiation may be effective in treating large, bulky lymphomas or in controlling symptoms such as pain or bleeding from tumours.
In some cases, doctors may perform a bone marrow or stem cell transplant after giving very high doses of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy destroys the cancerous white blood cells as well as the normal and healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. In this procedure, a doctor removes bone marrow from a compatible donor and puts it into the recipient after high doses of chemotherapy are given. Sometimes the bone marrow replacement is from the patient (rather than from a donor) themselves, if bone marrow was stored at an earlier time in the treatment process.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Non-Hodgkins-Lymphoma