There are over 80 different types of lymphoma including CLL. Some lymphoma subtypes are aggressive (fast growing) and need treatment straight away and other lymphomas are indolent (slow growing) where treatment may not need to start straight away
There are many ways of treating lymphoma and it is important to know your subtype of lymphoma and your treatment plan
Treatments for lymphoma
Once all the results from the biopsy, staging scans and medical history have been completed, the doctor will review these and then decide the best possible treatment.
The information on ‘types of lymphoma’ provides an overview of the standard treatments available for each subtype. Your doctor may recommend a different treatment to those discussed in the treatment section of this website as individual factors are also taken into consideration.
The treatment plan for lymphoma will depend on several factors:
- General health
- The subtype of lymphoma
- The behaviour of the lymphoma; is it a fast growing or slow growing lymphoma
- The symptoms at diagnosis
How is the treatment plan decided?
Once all of the results from the biopsy and staging scans have been completed, the doctor will review these to decide the best possible treatment. At some cancer centres, the doctor will also meet with a team of specialists to discuss the best treatment and this is called a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting.
The doctors will take into consideration many factors about the lymphoma and general health of the patient to decide when and what treatment is required. This can be based on:
- The stage and grade of lymphoma
- Symptoms (the size and location of the lymphoma)
- How the lymphoma is affecting the patient
- Past medical history & general health
- Current physical and mental wellbeing
- Personal preferences
The medical team will also consider lymphoma specific information:
- The subtype of lymphoma
- Stage of the disease
- How fast the lymphoma is growing
- The size of any lumps of lymphoma
- What parts of the body are affected by lymphoma?
- Results from any genetic tests
The doctor and/or cancer nurse will explain the treatment plan and the possible side-effects. It is important to understand the treatment plan and ask questions.
Supportive care treatments
There are treatments for lymphoma that are provided to either treat the lymphoma or relieve symptoms. These treatments are sometimes referred to as ‘supportive treatment’ or supportive care.
Some treatments can include:
- Splenectomy (having your spleen removed)
- Blood product transfusions
- Immunoglobulin therapy
- Complementary therapy
- Maintenance therapy