After an individual is diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, there may be different types of doctors involved with the treatment process, including: medical oncologist, hematologist, radiation oncologist, or a bone marrow transplant doctor. There are many other specialists that may be on the treatment team like nurses and physician assistants.
Choosing a treatment method is a big decision, and consulting with a doctor is imperative to your recovery process. When discussing treatment options, it’s important to set goals, ask questions, and outline any possible side effects with the medical team to determine which is the best course of action for a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis.
After an individual is diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the medical team will determine if it has spread and, if so, how far. The stage of a cancer indicates how much cancer is in the body, how serious it is, and how to treat it. This process is called staging. Gathering staging information can include a physical exam, blood tests, biopsies, imaging tests, and a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). In general, imaging tests such as PET or CT scans are the most important when determining the stage of NHL in a patient.
Most individuals with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma alert their doctor after they detect a lump that hasn’t gone away or have experienced symptoms of NHL. When seeking a diagnosis for NHL, you are likely to undergo several tests to confirm whether you are suffering from the disease.
Some of the procedures or tests you may undergo include but are not limited to:
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the body’s lymphatic system, a component of the immune system that helps fight infections and moves fluid through the body. While the symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma will vary from person to person, it varies depending on the type of lymphoma and where it is in the body. Some individuals may not show any symptoms until it is much larger.