Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
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Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Main Page | Risk Factors | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | Screening | Reducing Your Risk | Talking to Your Doctor | Living With Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma | Resource Guide

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You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about your personal risk factors and/or experience with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. By talking openly and regularly with your healthcare provider, 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 healthcare provider:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and ask questions you may not have considered.
  • Write out 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 Healthcare Provider

About Your Risk of Developing Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

  • Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

About Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • Was it caught early?

About Treatment Options

  • What is the best treatment option for non-Hodgkin’s 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?
  • Should I consider participating in a clinical trial?
  • Do you know of a support group I could join?

References:

American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp .

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website. Available at: http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/hm_lls .

National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/ .



Last reviewed February 2007 by Barbara Harty-Golder, MD, JD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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