Talking to Your Doctor About Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and ask questions you may not have considered.
  • Write your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you receive, and make sure you understand what is being said. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for more information. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your doctor

About Your Risk of Developing Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
  • Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for non-Hodgkins lymphoma?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk of developing non-Hodgkins lymphoma?
About Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • Was it caught early?
About Treatment Options
  • What is the best treatment option for non-Hodgkins lymphoma?
    • What other options are there?
    • What are the risks and benefits associated with this treatment plan?
  • How long will the treatments last?
  • What side effects should I watch for?
  • Will my daily routine need to change?
  • How will I feel during treatment?
  • What will I need to do to take care of myself during the treatment period?
  • What will we do if the treatment does not succeed?
About Lifestyle Changes
  • How can I protect myself against infection?
  • Do I need to make changes in my diet?
  • Can I exercise? If so, how much?
About Your Outlook
  • Will the treatments kill all the cancer cells?
  • How do I know that my treatment program is effective?
  • What can I do to protect my ability to have children in the future?
  • Do you know of a support group I could join?

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References

Lymphoma. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Societywebsite. Available at: http://www.lls.org/diseaseinformation/lymphoma . Updated April 19, 2013. Accessed April 29, 2013.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/non-hodgkin . Accessed April 29, 2013.

What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma? American Cancer Societywebsite. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-hodgkinlymphoma/detailedguide/non-hodgkin-lymphoma-what-is-non-hodgkin-lymphoma?sitearea=CRI . Updated May 27, 2013. Accessed April 29, 2013.

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