Lymphoma treatments can do several different things. They can:
- Kill cancer cells
- Stop cancer growth
- Treat symptoms
Treatment plans often combine medicines and surgeries. Your exact treatment plan will depend on:
- The type of lymphoma you have
- How aggressive the disease is
- Your age and overall health
We treat both Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's types of lymphoma.
Treating Hodgkin's Lymphoma with Radiation
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells. When treating Hodgkin's lymphoma, it usually comes after chemotherapy. Radiation therapy can:
- Shrink a large tumor (usually found in the chest)
- Treat specific tumors
- Relieve symptoms
A radiation oncologist will customize the treatment dose for individual needs. We aim to kill as much cancer as possible without hurting healthy tissue.
External Beam Radiation
We use external beam radiation for Hodgkin's lymphoma. A machine delivers short bursts of X-rays to the tumor. You get external beam radiation:
- For a few minutes at a time
- Usually 5 days a week
- For 5-8 weeks
We can perform two types of external beam radiation.
Involved Site Radiation Therapy (ISRT)
We aim the radiation at the lymph node where the cancer started and any nearby affected area.
Total Body Irradiation
We eliminate all traces of lymphoma from all over your body in preparation for a stem cell transplant.
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treatments
We can cure some forms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We can manage but not cure others.
Chemotherapy can treat many types of this lymphoma.
Bone Marrow Transplant
We can treat some types of lymphoma with a stem cell transplant. Healthy stem cells from yourself or a donor can give you a healthy immune system and cure your cancer. The stem cells create new blood cells in your body. If successful, the new cells have no cancer.
If you are short of breath, very tired, or are in danger of serious bleeding, you might need a transfusion. This means we bolster your blood with fresh blood cells. You’ll get this blood through an IV.
This procedure cleans out your plasma. Plasma is the liquid part in your blood that doesn’t have cells.
Your condition can put too much protein in your plasma. This thickens the plasma, so your blood doesn’t circulate well. Plasmapheresis separates your blood cells from the plasma. We then clean the plasma and return the blood to your body.
Newer medicines can block specific proteins in cancer cells to stop their growth or kill them. Targeted therapy can also boost your immune system. This medicine can come in pill or IV form.
Targeted therapy medications can make other treatments, like chemo or radiation, more effective. We can also use targeted therapies if other treatments fail.
You might experience side effects like:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chest pain
- Breathing problems
- Reactivation of hepatitis B infection (for those with a dormant infection)
Surgery for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
We don't often turn to surgery as a treatment. Usually, surgery only works if cancer lives in just one area of your body.