Health Encyclopedia

 

Health Encyclopedia Home



What to Know About Chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

What to Know About Chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill or slow the growth of lymphoma cells. A big benefit of chemotherapy is that it is systemic. That means that the drugs travel throughout your whole body. Here’s why that’s good: It may be able to kill lymphoma cells that have spread beyond the first place it occurred.

The doctor who treats you with chemotherapy is called a medical oncologist or hematologist. Chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma often uses more than one drug. That’s why it’s called combination chemotherapy. You may want to know what drugs you’re taking and how you will take them. You may also want to know their common side effects. Your doctor and chemotherapy nurse will give you those details.

The different ways you can get chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Your doctor has several options for how to give you chemotherapy drugs.

  • Intravenous (IV) injection or drip. You may get an injection into a vein, usually over a few minutes. Another way to get the medicine into your vein is by an IV drip. In that case, a bag is filled with medicine that drips through a tube into your vein over a longer period of time.

  • Injection. You get these drugs by a needle injected into your muscle or under your skin. 

  • Oral. You swallow these drugs as pills.

  • Intrathecal. If the lymphoma has reached your brain or spinal cord, you may get drugs infused into your spinal fluid. 

You get chemotherapy in cycles. This reduces the damage to healthy cells and helps the drugs kill more lymphoma cells. This cycle also gives you a break between treatments. Your doctor will decide if you need to get treatment daily, weekly, every few weeks, or monthly.

Chemotherapy may increase your risk of infection or you may experience side effects such as fatigue, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, hair loss, or diarrhea.  Your doctor can help you manage side effects during chemotherapy.  After chemotherapy is finished, side effects usually go away.

Chemotherapy is usually given in an outpatient setting. That means you get it at a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office. You don’t have to stay the night in the hospital. You will be watched during your treatments to make sure you don’t have a reaction. Some types of chemotherapy treatments last awhile. So you may want to take along something that is comforting to you. Some people bring music to listen to. You may also want to bring a deck of cards, book, or crossword puzzle.

 
Related Items
Content Type 134
  Top 10 Cancers Among Men
  AIDS-Related Malignancies
Drug Reference
  Chlorambucil
  Cladribine
  Cyclophosphamide
  Doxorubicin
  Rituximab
  Tositumomab
  Denileukin Diftitox
  Interferon Alfa-2b
  Fludarabine
  Ibritumomab Tiuxetan
  Ifosfamide
  Nelarabine
  Plerixafor
  Mechlorethamine, Nitrogen Mustard
  Methotrexate
  Mitoxantrone
  Vinblastine
  Vincristine
  Bleomycin
  Carmustine, BCNU
Cancer Source
  I’ve Just Been Told I Have Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Introduction
  Statistics About Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  Immunotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  Can I Get Checked for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Before I Have Symptoms?
  What Are the Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?
  Understanding the Grade of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  Understanding Your Stage of Lymphoma
  Do What You Can to Ease Symptoms and Side Effects of Treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  Diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  Superior Vena Cava Syndrome
  Now! Don't Wait!
  What to Know About Your Treatment Choices for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  What to Know About Radiation Therapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  What to Know About Immunotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  What to Know About Stem Cell Transplants for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  How Your Doctor Uses Biopsies to Make Your Diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  What to Know About B-Cell Lymphomas
  What to Know About T-Cell Lymphomas
  Tests That Help Evaluate Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  Can I Survive Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma? What Is My Prognosis?
  What to Know About Your Lymphatic System
  Am I At Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?
  Potential Side Effects from Chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  Potential Side Effects from Radiation for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  Tips for Feeling Your Best During Treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  Potential Side Effects from a Stem Cell Transplant for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  What Happens During Stem Cell Transplant for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  What to Know About Follow-Up Appointments After Treatment for Lymphoma
  Questions to Ask About Treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  What Happens During Chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  Radiation Treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  What Happens During Radiation Therapy for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  What Happens During External Radiation Therapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  What Happens During Internal Radiation Therapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  FDA-Approved Drugs
Cancer FAQs
  Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma FAQ
Quizzes
  Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Quiz
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Pediatric Diseases and Conditions
  Neck Masses
  Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Children