Late effects of treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Some side effects from treatment may not show up until many months or years later. These are called late effects. Your doctor will talk to you about these before your treatment starts.
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Occasionally, many years after successful treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, some people may develop a new, unrelated cancer. This may be either a new form of lymphoma or leukaemia, or a type of solid cancer. Sometimes this happens because of being diagnosed at a young age with lymphoma, being treated with certain chemotherapy drugs, or having a genetic link. In some cases, radiation therapy can also increase the risk of developing a second cancer near the area treated.
Some forms of drug treatments may damage the heart muscle so it doesn’t work as well. If this is a concern for you, your doctor will monitor your heart function throughout treatment to limit your risk of developing this condition. They will adjust your chemotherapy if early changes are seen. Radiation therapy to the chest area may also lead to heart disease.
Radiation therapy to the neck area may cause an underactive thyroid gland, and you may need daily thyroid pills.
|It is important that you talk to your doctor about any symptoms that appear, even many years after treatment. Modern treatment plans are, however, designed to reduce these late effects.|
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Dr Ian Bilmon, Haematologist, Westmead and Sydney Adventist Hospitals; Dr Anne Capp, Radiation Oncologist, Calvary Mater Newcastle; Rachelle Frith, Clinical Nurse Consultant Haematology, Prince of Wales Hospital; Jason Gardner, Consumer; A/Prof Angela Hong, Radiation Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and Clinical Professor, The University of Sydney; Yvonne King, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Samantha Rennie, Social Worker, Cancer Services, St George Hospital. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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