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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

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Treatment of indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Indolent non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) tend to grow very slowly and may only cause a few symptoms. Indolent lymphomas tend to be widespread and people often have advanced stage disease when they are first diagnosed. However, many people with an indolent lymphoma live for many years.

Indolent NHLs are often quite sensitive to treatment initially and can often be controlled for many years. However, they tend to recur and can become resistant to treatment over time. Some indolent NHLs can also change (transform) into a more aggressive lymphoma, which can be difficult to treat.

Treatment of indolent NHL can vary somewhat depending on:

  • the particular type of lymphoma
  • the person's age
  • the person's overall health

When planning treatment, doctors may put people with NHL into 2 groups based on the stage of their lymphoma:

  • limited stage – stage I or stage II NHL
  • advanced stage – stage III or stage IV NHL

The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the person with NHL.


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