Some patients with other diseases or very late stages of Hodgkin’s lymphoma may not be able to undergo the lymphoma treatment including chemotherapy treatment and radiation therapy. However, this is left to the discretion of patient’s doctor.
There is no specific preparation for Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment. Both chemotherapy treatment and radiation therapy do not require patients to undergo a certain preparation routine. However, it is better to inform your oncologist about other medical conditions you suffer from and medications you take. In this way, your lymphoma treatment will be tailored according to your needs and possibilities. It is also worth taking under consideration to undergo other medical treatments before starting your chemotherapy.
Since Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a lymph nodes cancer, surgery is not performed as a part of lymphoma treatment. Instead, oncologists focus on effective chemotherapy treatment and radiation therapy as means to eradicate this cancer.
• Chemotherapy treatment involves the use of drugs, which destroy cancer cells. There are many types of such drugs; the choice is left to your oncologist with regard for the exact type of your Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as your overall medical condition.
• Radiation therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma may be of two types. In external radiation therapy, radiation is emitted by a special machine – cancer cells are bombarded from the outside. In internal radiation therapy, radioactive material is injected into patient’s bloodstream in order to destroy large B-cells causing Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Both of these treatments are rather short but there are several sessions of them, their exact number depending on patient’s situation and the stage of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Chemotherapy treatment and radiation therapy, while very successful in fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as other types of cancer such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, can be destructive to patient’s body. Many side effects of these lymphoma treatments may continue for months or even years. Still, their high effectiveness against Hodgkin’s lymphoma makes them primary methods of struggling with this lymph nodes cancer.
There are certain risks connected with Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may cause secondary cancers in the long run, such as breast cancer or lung cancer. However, this does not have to be the case with every patient. Additionally, Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivors are generally advised to do routine check-ups so secondary cancer should be detected in early stage. Another common complication related to chemotherapy and radiation therapy is infertility.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment’s side effects include:
• General weakness, tiredness
• Memory problems
• Weakened immune system
and many others. There are various side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which may vary from person to person.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment, in contrary to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment, has a high success rate, estimated at 85%. That is because it is a well-known disease, attacking only B-type lymphocytes.
What is the Difference between Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a B-cell lymphoma, which means that only B-type lymphocytes are changing. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is just a category, in which there are many different types of blood cancers, B-cell as well as T-cell lymphomas. Additionally, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is usually concentrated in lymph nodes (hence lymph nodes cancer) while non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas may appear in different locations. Finally, it is easier to spot a Hodgkin’s lymphoma rather than non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas due to well-known symptoms.
Is Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy the only Treatment?
While there are other Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatments in development, chemotherapy combined with radiation therapy are thought to be the most effective ones so far.
Are Stages of Lymphoma Important?
Of course. As in other types of cancer, in the case of Hodgkin’s lymphoma the more advanced stages of lymphoma, the smaller is the chance of surviving this cancer. For this reason, it is advised to pay attention to Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes and night sweats.