Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: Treatment Questions

Talking with healthcare providers about cancer can be overwhelming. It can be hard to take in all of the information. It helps to be prepared. Be sure to:

  • Make a list of questions and bring them to your appointments. Write down the answers.

  • Ask how the treatment might change your daily life, including your diet, your ability to do things, and your sex life. Also ask if treatment can make you unable to have children (infertility).

  • Ask how you will look and feel during and after treatment.

  • Ask how well they expect the treatment to work.

  • Ask what the risks and possible side effects are.

  • Ask about costs. Ask about health insurance coverage, how much you will have to pay, and where you can get help.

You may also want to ask a friend or family member to come with you. He or she can take notes, write down the answers, and also ask questions you may not think of. You can also ask your healthcare provider if you can record the conversation.

Below are some questions you might want to ask. These can help you get started. Add any other questions you have, too.

Deciding on a treatment

  • What type and stage of lymphoma do I have? What does this mean?

  • Where is the lymphoma in my body?

  • Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?

  • How soon do we start treatment?

  • How much experience do you have treating this type of lymphoma?

  • What are my treatment choices?

  • What treatment do you think is best for me?

  • What is the goal of the treatment you are advising? For instance, is it to cure the lymphoma or keep it under control?

  • What is the success rate of this treatment for my type and stage of lymphoma?

  • Are there any clinical trials I should consider?

  • Should I get a second opinion?

 Getting ready for treatment

  • How soon do I need to start treatment?

  • Who will lead my treatment team?

  • How long will the total treatment last?

  • What will each treatment be like?

  • How long will each treatment take?

  • Where do I have to go for treatment?

  • Who is involved in giving me the treatments?

  • Does someone need to go with me during treatments?

  • Can I take my other medicines while getting treatment?

  • Is there anything I can do to get ready for treatment?

 Coping during treatment

  • How will I feel during and after treatment?

  • What side effects can I expect to have?

  • How long will side effects last?

  • Will there be any side effects that I need to call about?

  • Who should I call with questions or problems?

  • How do I get help after hours and on weekends?

  • What can I do to ease side effects?

  • Will I be able to go to work and be around my family?

  • Should I change my diet? What foods can’t I eat?

  • Are there any limits on what I can do?

  • Are there support groups nearby that I can join?

  • Are there any websites you would advise?

After treatment

  • Who will lead my follow-up care?

  • How will I feel after the treatment?

  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

  • How will we know if treatment worked?

  • Are there any long-term side effects I need to watch for?

  • What are the chances that the cancer will come back? What should I watch for?

  • What are my options if the treatment doesn't work or the cancer comes back?

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