At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center we’re committed to helping patients with lymphoma live longer, healthier lives. We know going through cancer treatment is one of the biggest challenges a person can face. We offer our patients advanced therapies that include both medical treatment and integrative support to care for you throughout diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
How Is Lymphoma Treated?
If you are diagnosed with lymphoma, your doctor will discuss your best options to treat the disease. Treatment depends on several factors, including:
- Personal preferences
- Cancer stage and category
- Age and overall health
Our team of lymphoma specialists provides cutting-edge therapy, backed by expertise and compassion. We build each patient a customized treatment plan based on their specific needs. Care teams of highly skilled doctors, surgeons, nurses, dietitians, social workers and others work together to support all aspects of a patient’s care.
Lymphoma Treatments and Side Effects
Your lymphoma treatment plan may include one or more of the following therapies:
- Chemotherapy – The treatment most often used for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy stops cell growth and division, preventing more cancer cells. However, it also affects healthy cells, which can cause side effects. Potential side effects: Fatigue, hair loss, bruising, infection, nausea, diarrhea and mouth sores.
- Radiation therapy – Radiation therapy kills cancer cells with beams of light. This therapy may be used in early-stage lymphoma treatment or to help alleviate symptoms. Potential side effects: Loss of appetite and taste, dry mouth, throat irritation, skin reactions, nausea, hair loss and fatigue.
- Proton therapy – Proton therapy directs radiation to the tumor site, with less damage to nearby healthy tissue. Potential side effects: Fatigue, headaches, hair loss, redness near the treatment area, and digestion problems.
- Immunotherapy – Immunotherapy enhances the power of your body’s immune system to attack tumors. Potential side effects: Skin reactions, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, swelling of legs and shortness of breath.
- Stem cell transplantation –Transplants can be either autologous (stem cells taken from the patient) or allogeneic (stem cells from a donor). Potential side effects: Infection, bleeding/need for blood transfusions and a sore mouth.
- Radioimmunotherapy – Pairing radiation therapy with immunotherapy, radioimmunotherapy uses monoclonal antibodies to target antigens (foreign substances in the body) that live on cancer cells. Potential side effects: Bone marrow damage (small risk), allergic reaction, fever, chills, low blood pressure, diarrhea and rash.
- Clinical trials: As a leader in cancer care research, Banner MD Anderson conducts clinical trials on new lymphoma treatments. Talk to your doctor about what is currently available and if you qualify for a research trial.
- Watchful waiting – This approach involves closely monitoring your lymphoma without having active treatment.
Lymphoma Treatment Support
Our Integrative Oncology Program offers many complementary treatments for cancer patients that have been shown to be safe and effective. Integrative means conventional medicine is combined with complementary therapies to treat both the disease and its physical and emotional side effects. Our integrative program offers patients clinically proven treatment services such as nutrition, yoga and support groups.