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Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treatments


Treatments depend on the stage of the cancer and its type. The type is determined in part by microscopic exam and other studies. Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include:

Watchful Waiting

For some indolent lymphomas, no treatment may be needed for some time. Treatment is needed if the tumor begins to cause symptoms such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Impaired organ function because of involvement with lymphoma
Treatment may also be need if the tumor becomes too large to tolerate or shows signs of becoming aggressive.


Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be given in many forms. This may include pills, injection, and via a catheter. The drugs enter the bloodstream. It travels through the body. It will kill mostly cancer cells. Some healthy cells may also be killed.

External Radiation Therapy

Radiation is directed at the tumor from a source outside the body to kill the cancer cells.

Bone Marrow Transplantation

A patient may use their own bone marrow. in this case, bone marrow is removed, treated, and frozen. Large doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy are then applied to kill the cancer cells. After treatment, the bone marrow is replaced via a vein.

Marrow may also be donated from a healthy donor.

Peripheral Stem Cell Transplantation (PSCT)

Stem cells are very immature cells that produce blood cells. They are removed from circulating blood before chemotherapy or radiation treatment. These cells are then replaced after treatment. The cells can then develop new healthy cells.

Biological Therapy, Immunotherapy, or Biological Response Modifier (BRM) and Radioimmunotherapy Therapy

These medications or substances are made by the body. They increase or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer.

One type of biological therapy, interferons, interferes with the division of cancer cells and can slow tumor growth. Interferons are produced by the body. They can also be made in the lab to treat cancer and other diseases.

Sometimes a drug or antibody that is directed at the lymphoma is linked to a radioactive substance. It will deliver a focused dose of radiation to the tumor.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2022 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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