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Watch & Wait

This type of treatment approach is most often used in people who are diagnosed with indolent (slow-growing) NHL and have no symptoms or other risk factors that require immediate treatment. These patients are closely monitored using a Watch and Wait approach. They have regular visits with their doctor, including blood tests and imaging (such as CT scans), but they do not receive treatment unless the disease progresses or symptoms appear.

Watch and Wait may initially cause distress to some people as it may seem a risky or passive approach to a serious disease. However, studies have demonstrated that the results are no different between patients with indolent NHL who receive treatment immediately and those who wait until treatment is required. The benefit of Watch and Wait is that it delays the often-significant side effects of cancer therapies.

The Watch and Wait approach does not mean nothing is done - the process is still an active one. Patients are seen regularly by their doctors and are very closely monitored for signs of disease progression. Patients should be observant about the presence of disease symptoms, most notably the presence of B symptoms (e.g. fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss) which may indicate that active treatment should begin. Most patients may go on to need active treatment for their NHL. However, some patients with indolent lymphomas never require treatment.

From the DVD - "Your Journey of Lymphoma Treatments"

Related video: Chapter - Treating Your Lymphoma