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Non-hodgkin Lymphoma


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is also called non-Hodgkin disease. It is a cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system contains lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and glands, such as the spleen and thymus. Lymph vessels carry lymph fluid throughout the body. Lymph fluid contains lymphocytes (white blood cells) that help fight infection and disease. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma causes lymphocytes to grow and divide without control, and to form tumors.


Follow up with your oncologist as directed:

You will need to see your oncologist for ongoing treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Rest as needed. Return to activities slowly, and do more as you feel stronger.
  • Eat healthy foods. Eat a variety of healthy foods to get the protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients that your body needs. You may need to change the foods you eat depending on your treatments and side effects. You also may need to eat more calories than usual. Work with a dietitian to plan the best meals and snacks for you. Ask if you should take vitamins.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Drink extra liquids to prevent dehydration. You will also need to replace fluid if you are vomiting or have diarrhea from cancer treatments.
  • Avoid people who are sick. Stay away from people who have a cold or the flu. Also try to stay away from large groups of people to decrease your risk of getting a cold or flu.

Contact your oncologist 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 vomiting and cannot keep any food or liquids down.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have chest pain, your heart pounds or races, or you have trouble breathing.
  • You are too dizzy to stand, or you 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.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.