Blood cancers, including lymphoma, are extremely heterogeneous, and can involve a variety of treatment options, often in combination. Some form of chemotherapyTreatment with drugs to stop the growth of rapidly dividing cancer cells, including lymphoma cells., radiation therapyThe use of radiation beams (X-rays) to treat a cancer., immunotherapyTreatments that interact with the immune system. , or a combination is typically used to treat Hodgkin lymphomaOne of the two major types of lymphoma that begin in the lymph nodes and tissues of the lymphatic system. All other lymphomas are classified as non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Hodgkin lymphoma has characteristic cell, the Reed-Sternberg cell, seen by the pathologist under the microscope when looking at the tissue from the biopsy.. Bone marrowSpongy material found inside the bones containing stem cells that develop into three types of cells: red blood cells that deliver oxygen to the body and take away carbon dioxide; white blood cells that protect the body from infection; and platelets or stem cell transplantation may also sometimes be done under special circumstances. Most patients with Hodgkin lymphoma live long and healthy lives following successful treatment.

Many people treated for non-Hodgkin lymphoma will receive some form of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biologic therapyTreatment that uses or stimulates the immune system or other body systems to fight infection., immunotherapy, or a combination of these. Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation may sometimes be used. Surgery may be used under special circumstances, but primarily to obtain a biopsyRemoval of a small piece of tissue for evaluation under a microscope. for diagnostic purposes.

Although “indolent” or slow growing forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma are not currently curable, the prognosisThe likely outcome of a disease, including the chance of recovery. is still very good. Patients may live for 20 years or more following an initial diagnosis. In certain patients with an indolent form of the disease, treatment may not be necessary until there are signs of progression. Response to treatment can also change over time. Treatment that worked initially may be ineffective the next time, making it necessary to always keep abreast of the latest information on new or experimental treatment options.

Types of treatment options for lymphoma include:

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