Watch and wait

If you have nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL), your doctor may suggest that you don’t need to start treatment straight away. Instead, you will have regular tests and appointments to monitor the lymphoma and check for signs that you need to start treatment. This is called watch and wait. It is a way of delaying treatment until it is needed.

Your doctor may suggest watch and wait if:

  • you had a small area of NLPHL that was completely removed by surgery or treated with radiotherapy
  • you have NLPHL that is not changing or causing any symptoms
  • you have NLPHL that has come back but you don’t have any symptoms.

Sometimes people worry about delaying treatment. However, cancer treatments cause side effects. Some side effects may be long-term or start to affect your health years after treatment. Watch and wait means you can have treatment when it is needed and avoid the risk of side effects for as long as possible.

NLPHL often develops slowly and you may not need treatment for a long time. Watch and wait does not make your treatment less effective when you do need it.

Lymphoma - watch and wait

In this cancer information video, Dr Robert Marcus explains how patients with lymphoma are regularly monitored until treatment starts. This is called watch and wait. Linda talks about her experience.

Back to Treating

Making treatment decisions

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.

Supportive and other treatments

These treatments aren't to treat the cancer itself. But they can help make other treatments more effective or help you to feel better.

After treatment

After treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, you’ll have regular check-ups.

Clinical trials

Many people are offered a trial as part of treatment. Find out more to help you decide if a trial is right for you.