WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, or non-Hodgkin's disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is made up of lymph vessels, lymph nodes, lymphocytes, and organs, such as the spleen and thymus. The cause of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is unknown.
- You may be at higher risk of having this disease if you had cancer in the past. A weak immune system or an infection may also put you at risk. The most common symptom of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is having swollen and painless lymph nodes. Fever, pain or swelling in your stomach, back, or legs, sweating a lot at night, and weight loss are other symptoms.
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is diagnosed by a biopsy, a computerized tomography (CT), and other tests. Treatment may include surgery, bone marrow or stem cell transplants, radiation, or chemotherapy.
Take your medicine as directed.
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- If you are getting chemotherapy, it is important to take your medicine exactly as you are told.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
Colds or the flu:
Stay away from people who have colds or the flu. Ask your caregiver if you should get shots to keep from getting the flu and pneumonia. Also try to stay away from large groups of people. This decreases your chance of getting sick.
Rest as often as you need to.
Rest is important for your recovery. Do not return to your regular activities too quickly. Start slowly and do more as you feel stronger. Rest during the day. Plan for 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Contact your primary healthcare provider if you are not able to sleep.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have back pain and weakness in your legs.
- You have chills, a cough, red or swollen skin, or feel weak and achy.
- You cannot make it to your radiation or chemotherapy visit.
- You have a fever.
- You are so depressed you feel you cannot cope with your illness.
- You are throwing up and cannot keep any food or liquids down.
- You have questions or concerns about non-Hodgkin's disease or your medicine.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have chest pain, your heart pounds or races, or you have trouble breathing.
- You are too dizzy to stand or have trouble keeping your balance.
- You have a seizure.
- Your legs swell.
- You cannot think clearly or you feel confused.
- You feel weak or numb on one side of your body.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.