Chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
There is a wide variety of drugs used in treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These may be used singly or in combination and will be different depending on the stage and type of lymphoma.
Chemotherapy is usually given by vein, but some forms can be given by mouth. Your medical oncologist will tell you how many cycles or courses of chemotherapy are best for you. Usually there are between 4-6 cycles of chemotherapy given when the chemotherapy is delivered on its own, and up to 10 cycles of chemotherapy when the drugs are given along with radiation therapy.
The side effects and amount of time required in the doctor’s office depend on the type of chemotherapy you receive, as well as how many cycles you receive and how often. The most common chemotherapy-associated side effects are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Hair loss
- Esophagitis or irritation of the swallowing tube
When chemotherapy is given at a lower dose, as when it is given along with radiation, these side effects are less common. However, most people still feel very fatigued.
Conn HF, Rakel RE. Conn's Current Therapy 2001 . 53rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.
Lymphoma. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website. Available at: http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/all_page?item_id=7030 . Updated September 2008. Accessed October 9, 2008.
Non-hodgkin lymphoma. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/non-hodgkin . Accessed October 9, 2008.
What is non-hodgkin lymphoma? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_1X_What_Is_Non_Hodgkins_Lymphoma_32.asp?sitearea=CRI . Updated August 2007. Accessed October 9, 2008.
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