Our information on types of lymphoma outlines the most commonly used treatments for each type of lymphoma. Your specialist might recommend a different treatment to those most commonly used based on your individual circumstances.
Depending on the type of lymphoma you have and how quickly it is growing, you might have treatment that aims to get rid of the lymphoma completely, you might have treatment to control the lymphoma, or you might not need treatment at all at first. You can find out more about these concepts on the following pages:
There are many different treatments used for lymphoma. If your medical team has recommended that you start treatment, you can find out more about your type of treatment on our detailed pages on:
- Antibody therapy (including rituximab)
- Targeted drugs
- Biosimilars for lymphoma
- Stem cell transplants
- Treatment for skin lymphoma
- Treatment during pregnancy.
Your specialist might suggest that you consider being treated as part of a clinical trial (a scientific study that tests medical treatments). For more information, visit:
Some treatments are used to relieve symptoms or side effects rather than treat the lymphoma itself. These are sometimes called ‘supportive treatments’ or ‘supportive care’. Other treatments are used to help your remission last longer. This is called ‘maintenance therapy’. We have more information about these on the following pages:
- Splenectomy (having your spleen removed)
- Blood transfusions
- Growth factors
- Immunoglobulin replacement therapy
- Complementary therapy
- Maintenance therapy (including rituximab maintenance).
Your treatment is planned by a multidisciplinary team of health professionals who are specialists in different areas. Your medical team aims to offer you treatment that has the best chance of successfully treating your lymphoma with the fewest possible side effects or long-term effects on your health. They consider several factors when deciding on the best treatment for you.
Your medical team considers lymphoma-specific factors, such as:
- the type of lymphoma you have
- the stage of your disease
- how fast your lymphoma is growing
- the size of any lumps of lymphoma
- what parts of your body are affected by lymphoma
- your symptoms
- results of genetic tests on your lymphoma, which can tell the doctor if you are likely to respond to certain treatments.
They also consider individual factors, such as:
- how old you are
- your general health
- any other medical conditions you have
- any other medication you need
- any other factors that are important to you.
Children and young people (up to 24 years old) are often given different treatment to adults. If you are under 24 or are the parent or carer of a child with lymphoma, you might want to read our section on lymphoma in children and young people.
Your medical team should talk to you about your treatment before it starts. They should explain:
- the aim of your treatment – whether it aims to get rid of all of the lymphoma (complete remission) or as much of the lymphoma as possible (partial remission)
- the exact drugs they want to use
- how your treatment is given
- how often you need to have the treatment and how long it normally takes
- where you have your treatment and whether you need to stay overnight
- any side effects or late effects (side effects that develop months or years after treatment) you might develop
- any symptoms or signs you should look out for during your treatment
- where to get help if you have any problems during your treatment.
We have compiled a list of questions to ask about lymphoma, including questions about treatment, that you might find useful.
It can be difficult to take in everything you are told. You might want to take notes or record the consultation to help you remember. It may be helpful to bring a relative or a friend to the consultation with you.
If you have any questions about your treatment, get in touch with your medical team. If you haven’t been given a contact number for your specialist nurse or another member of your medical team, ask for it. You can contact your hospital switchboard if you don’t have a contact number.