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Living with non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Survival after non-Hodgkin lymphoma is relatively good in Australia compared with other countries for which survival data are available.

Having a weakened immune system is a common complication of lymphoma treatment. Even if your lymphatic system is restored to normal, many of the medications that treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma weaken your immune system.

This means you are more vulnerable to infections, and there is an increased risk of developing serious complications from infections. You may be advised to take regular doses of antibiotics to prevent infections occurring in the early stages after treatment. Your immune system will usually recover in the months and years after treatment.

If you think you might have an infection, you must report any symptoms to your doctor immediately because prompt treatment may be needed to prevent serious complications. This is particularly important in the first few months after treatment.

Symptoms of infection include:

Many of the treatments for lymphoma can cause infertility, which is often temporary, but in some cases it may be a permanent side effect.

Where to get help

If you need help, talking to your doctor is a good place to start. If you'd like to find out more, or talk to someone else, here are some organisations that can help:

Sources: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - PDF document), NHS Choices, UK (Complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma)

Last reviewed: September 2015

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