How is lymphoma treated?
Treatment of lymphoma begins with seeking regular medical care throughout your life. Regular medical care allows a health care professional to best evaluate the risks of developing lymphoma and promptly order diagnostic testing for such symptoms as an enlarged lymph node. These measures greatly increase the chances of catching lymphoma in its earliest, most curable stage.
The goal of treatment of lymphoma is to cure the cancer or bring about a complete remission of the disease. Remission means that there is no longer any sign of the disease in the body, although it may recur or relapse later.
Lymphoma treatment plans use a multifaceted approach that is individualized to the type and stage of advancement of lymphoma, and to your age, medical history, and coexisting diseases and conditions. Treatment of lymphoma is best delivered by a team of specialists in lymphoma care. These specialists include hematology oncologists, hematologists, and registered nurses who specialize in cancer and lymphoma care.
Lymphoma treatment may include some combination of the following:
Blood cell growth factors to increase the number of healthy white blood cells or red blood cells
Blood transfusions to temporarily replace blood components (such as red blood cells) that have been reduced or lost due to the disease process
Chemotherapy to attack cancer cells that grow and divide rapidly
Dietary counseling to help people with cancer maintain their strength and nutritional status
Palliative care to improve the overall quality of life for families and patients with serious diseases
Participation in a clinical trial that is testing promising new therapies and treatments for lymphoma may be recommended
Physical therapy to help strengthen the body, increase alertness, reduce fatigue, and improve functional ability during and after cancer treatment
Radiation therapy to attack cancer cells that grow and divide rapidly
Stem cell transplant to provide healthy new stem cells, which divide to make healthy new blood cells
Some complementary treatments may help some people better deal with lymphoma and its treatments. These treatments, sometimes referred to as alternative therapies, are used in conjunction with traditional medical treatments. Complementary treatments are not meant to substitute for full medical care.
Complementary treatments may include:
In cases in which lymphoma has progressed to an advanced stage and has become unresponsive to treatment, the goal of treatment may shift away from curing the disease and focus on measures to keep a person comfortable and maximize the quality of life. Hospice care involves medically controlling pain and other symptoms while providing psychological and spiritual support as well as services to support the patient's family.
What are the potential complications of lymphoma?
Complications of lymphoma are life threatening. Complications are caused by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells, which can spread throughout the lymphatic system and crowd out normal white blood cells that are needed to fight infection.
The abnormal white blood cells of lymphoma also crowd out red blood cells, which results in anemia due to a low number of red blood cells. The abnormal white blood cells formed in lymphoma can also accumulate in the organs of the body, such as the spleen, liver and kidney, and interfere with normal organ function.
Complications of lymphoma include:
Metastasis of cancer cells to other organs and organ dysfunction
Recurrence of lymphoma
You can best treat lymphoma and lower your risk of complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care team design specifically for you.
What is lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a general name for a group of cancers of the blood that originate in the lymph glands. The lymph glands are organs of the immune system and are part of the body’s defense against infection and disease. Lymph glands are located throughout the body.... Read more about lymphoma introduction
What are the symptoms of lymphoma?
Symptoms of lymphoma can vary among individuals and differ depending on the specific type and stage of advancement of the disease.... Read more about lymphoma symptoms