When you have recently been diagnosed with a serious form of cancer like non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you may be at a loss as far as what to do about the situation. There are numerous treatment options available for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is important to get to know more about some of these treatments. Then, you can be prepared for what is to come and work together with your medical team to develop a treatment plan that works for you.
Chemotherapy is oftentimes the first line of defense when you are suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This is usually an infusion treatment that involves the administration of anti-cancer drugs into the body through an IV.
However, if the cerebrospinal fluid has been compromised by cancer cells, intrathecal chemotherapy may be administered. This means the chemotherapy drugs are injected directly into the spinal fluid to be sure they reach the area.
When you have non-Hodgkin lymphoma, there are many different chemotherapy drugs that might be used to treat your cancer. These include cyclophosphamide, prednisone, carboplatin, and more.
These drugs vary in type and what effects they have on the cancer cells. Because of this, you are often not just given a single medication in a chemotherapy treatment, but several.
Another commonly used treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma is radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is seldom used by itself to treat this form of cancer, though. This is only the case when the cancer is detected in the earliest stages. More often, it is used in conjunction with chemotherapy or other treatment options.
If a person with non-Hodgkin lymphoma has large tumors in the body, for example, targeted radiation therapy can be helpful in addressing these tumors. Whole body radiation therapy can sometimes also be used for advanced-stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
While going through radiation therapy in particular, you will receive regular MRI and other scans as a part of your cancer treatment. These scans will help to determine the effectiveness of your treatments by allowing doctors to regularly measure the size of the tumors as well as look for any new tumors that might have developed. Then, they can adjust your radiation therapy and any other treatments accordingly.
New and innovative treatments are coming available regularly for difficult to treat cancers like non-Hodgkin lymphoma. One of the areas of interest to many researchers is immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that tries to harness the body's own immune system to fight the cancer more effectively.
Recently, a form of immunotherapy known as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy was approved by the FDA for commercial use. This form of treatment involves removing the T-cells from the body, training them to attack the cancer cells, and then re-implanting the T-cells back into the body. The T-cells will then target and attack the cancer cells.
Immunotherapy can be used by itself or alongside other treatments to enhance their effects on the cancer cells in the body. This is a new and innovative way to fight non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Now that you know more about your treatment options for your non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you will be able to talk to your doctor about your treatment program and your plan going forward. For more information, contact a company like Hudson Valley Imaging.