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The main treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma are chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Some people only need one of these treatments. Others have both.
Your treatment may depend on:
If you have nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL), you may not need treatment straight away. Instead you may have regular tests and appointments to monitor the lymphoma (called watch and wait). NLPHL may also be treated with a targeted therapy such as rituximab.
Rarely, NLPHL can change into a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. If this happens, you will have treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma instead.
If lymphoma comes back or there are still signs of it after treatment, some people will need further treatment.
If you have early-stage classical Hodgkin lymphoma, you will usually be treated with chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy. If the lymphoma is more advanced, chemotherapy is usually the main treatment but you may also have radiotherapy.
Most people won’t need any further treatment to get rid of the lymphoma. However, sometimes lymphoma comes back or there may still be signs of it after treatment. You might need more treatment if this happens. We have more information about treating Hodgkin lymphoma that comes back.
If you have nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL), your doctor may suggest that you delay having treatment. Instead you will have regular tests and appointments to monitor the lymphoma. This is called watch and wait.
If you start treatment, you may have radiotherapy or chemotherapy to treat NLPHL. Some people have both treatments. Other people will have a targeted therapy such as rituximab. This is a common treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
NLPHL may come back, sometimes after a long period of time, and can be treated again with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Rarely, NLPHL can change into a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. If this happens, you will have treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma instead. We have more information about treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Your doctors may tell you there are different options for your treatment. It can be difficult to make a decision, but information and support will help.
Radiotherapy targets lymphoma cells in a specific area of the body. It’s usually given after chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to treat cancer. It can be given in different ways and will be carefully planned.
Watch and wait means delaying treatment until it’s needed. It’s sometimes used for a type of Hodgkin lymphoma called NLPHL.
These treatments aren't to treat the cancer itself. But they can help make other treatments more effective or help you to feel better.
Targeted (biological) therapies can change cells to treat cancer.
After treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, you’ll have regular check-ups.
Many people are offered a trial as part of treatment. Find out more to help you decide if a trial is right for you.
Order booklets or audio CDs about chemotherapy. It includes how it works, having treatment and how it might affect you.
Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma will have side effects. Knowing what to expect will help you find the best way to handle them.
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Read Amrik's guest blog about being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma age 18. He discusses the impact this had on his studies, the support he received, and how he found a light at the end of the tunnel.
Affected by Hodgkin Lymphoma? Join this group to share experiences and ask questions to people who understand what you're going through.
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