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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.

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.
  • 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?
  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • Was it caught early?
  • 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?
  • How can I protect myself against infection?
  • Do I need to make changes in my diet?
  • Can I exercise? If so, how much?
  • 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?
References:

Lymphoma. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website. 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 Society website. 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.

Last reviewed April 2013 by Mohei Abouzied, MD; Michael Woods, MD

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.