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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma treatment

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Treatment depends on the type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, stage of disease, how far it has spread, your health and age, and how fast it is likely to grow.

If the cancer is slow growing, your doctor might recommend monitoring you regularly rather than starting treatment straight away.

The treatment options for non-Hodgkin lymphoma include:

  • chemotherapy: using medicines to kill the cancer cells
  • radiotherapy: used to treat early state non-Hodgkin lymphoma, if it's in one part of the body only
  • targeted therapies: medicines such as monoclonal antibodies that kill only the cancer cells but not healthy cells
  • immunotherapy: medicines that cause your own immune system to fight the cancer cells
  • topical medicines: medicines put on the skin can sometimes be used to treat early stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • stem cell transplant: may be needed if the lymphoma has come back or if there is a high likelihood it will come back in the future
  • surgery: only used in some cases, for example to treat skin lymphomas

Cancer Council Australia can provide more information on cancer treatments through their website at They also offer support for you and your loved ones via their helpline on 13 11 20.

Last reviewed: December 2017

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