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Hodgkin lymphoma

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Treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma

Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is given by cancer specialists (oncologists). Some specialize in surgery, some in radiation therapy and others in chemotherapy (drugs). These doctors work with the person with cancer to decide on a treatment plan.

Treatment plans are designed to meet the unique needs of each person with cancer. Treatment decisions for HL are based on the:

  • stage of HL
  • type of HL
  • areas of the body affected by HL
  • person’s age
  • person’s overall health

Treatment options for Hodgkin lymphoma

  • chemotherapy
    • Chemotherapy is the main treatment, with or without radiation therapy, for HL.
  • radiation therapy
    • External beam radiation therapy may be given with chemotherapy as part of combination treatment and sometimes on its own to treat localized areas of early stage HL.
  • stem cell transplant
    • A stem cell transplant may be used in certain situations, such as when the HL has recurred after being treated or no longer responds to treatment.
  • follow-up after treatment is finished
    • It is important to have regular follow-up visits, especially in the first 3 years after treatment.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials investigate better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. There are some clinical trials in Canada that are open to people with HL. For more information, go to clinical trials.

See a list of questions to ask your doctor about treatment.


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