Treatment for lymphoma includes chemotherapy, immunotherapy, stem cell transplants, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and sometimes surgery. Treatment for lymphoma, like many other cancers, depends on several factors, including stage of cancer at diagnosis, age and health of patient, and specific type of lymphoma. Sometimes, oncologists diagnosing lymphoma in very early stages prefer a wait-and-see approach; they monitor patients' conditions, performing additional treatment only if symptoms worsen.
Upon receiving a diagnosis of lymphoma, patients often work with a team of medical professionals for appropriate and thorough treatment. Attending specialists might include an oncologist, hematologist and radiation oncologist, who treats patients with radiation therapy. Treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma depends on several factors, including whether lymphoma classifies as B-cell or T-cell lymphoma, and whether the cancer spreads slowly or rapidly, according to WebMD. For slow-growing and localized cancer, oncologists generally prescribe radiation therapy and targeted therapy. Both therapies administer low dose waves to kill cancer cells without harming normal cells.
For more aggressive cancers, oncologists often use chemotherapy. The dose and frequency of chemotherapy depends on stage of cancer and whether or not it returns after initial treatment. In addition to chemotherapy, doctors sometimes use stem cell transplants as secondary treatments, reducing risk of relapse. Treatments for lymphoma carry a risk of side effects; before starting treatment, doctors often discuss these effects with patients, prescribing coping methods if needed.