Lymphoma is a term used for cancers that occur in the lymphatic system. Hodgkin’s disease is an example of a lymphoma cancer. In fact, Hodgkin’s disease is the most common form of lymphoma. All other lymphatic cancers are listed as non Hodgkin’s lymphomas. Treatments for lymphoma begun early enough can bring about a high cure rate. Hodgkin’s disease has a 95% cure rate if treated when it is only in stage 1 or stage 2. Non Hodgkin’s lymphomas are not as easily cured, but can treatment can still be successful if is begun soon enough.
Treatment for lymphoma will depend on the type and stage of the disease. The general overall health of the individual is taken into account before the type of treatment for lymphoma is decided on as well. If the lymphoma is a low grade and slow growing cancer the doctor may not begin treatment until it shows signs of spreading and will take the wait and see approach.
The treatments for lymphoma can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. They type of treatment used for non-Hodgkin lymphoma can vary from one patient to another. Radiation therapy is used that includes the use of high does x-rays that can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Chemotherapy uses drugs that kill cancer cells. Non-Hodgkin treatment for lymphoma also uses immunotherapy. Immunotherapy uses your own immune system to fight cancer. It is perhaps the most complicated of all the treatments available. Immunotherapy is also called biological response therapy since a lab uses substances from the patient’s own body to help boost your immune system. Sometimes treatment for lymphoma can use bone marrow transplants as well. Peripheral blood transplants are also another option in the line of treatments for non Hodgkin type lymphomas.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is broken down into two types, classical and nodular lymphocyte-predominant. They nodular lymphocyte predominant is broken down further into subtypes. The choice of treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma varies and can depend on the following factors:
Treatment options for pregnant women with Hodgkin’s disease can also depend on what the patient wants and the age of the fetus.
If Hodgkin’s lymphoma involves lymph nodes and organs then chemotherapy is normally used for treatment. The patient will be informed of the severe negative side effects can be experienced because of chemotherapy treatments. New advances in chemotherapy have made it possible for people to receive treatment while lessening their exposure to life threatening complications, such as the development of leukemia.
Radiation treatments are also used to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The affected lymph nodes and other lymph nodes in the proximity of the infected ones are radiated. The stage of Hodgkin’s disease can determine the length of radiation treatments. Radiation may be used alone unless there is a relapse after treatment. Chemotherapy would then necessary as well. Radiation therapy is not without its risks as well. Heart disease, strokes, infertility, thyroid problems and other forms of cancer can be caused by radiation treatments. Nearby tissue can also be damaged by radiation treatments.
Bone marrow or stem cell transplant treatments are another option for treatment if the Hodgkin’s disease returns after the above treatments. The person’s own bone marrow or stem cells are removed and frozen in storage if the need for them should arise. After a high dose of chemotherapy the patient is injected with their own bone marrow or stem cells through the veins. Complimentary medicine treatments may be used to help lessen the side effects of traditional treatments for lymphoma.