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 treatment will be carefully planned to reduce the risk of any of these late effects.
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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 inherited a genetic risk. 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 before and during treatment to limit your risk of developing this condition. They will adjust your chemotherapy dose or change the drug if changes are seen. Radiation therapy to the chest area may also lead to heart disease.
Let your doctor know if you notice pain or tightness in the chest or feel your heart is beating too fast or too slowly.
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. Late side effects are less likely now because treatments have improved.
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A/Prof Christina Brown, Haematologist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; Khaled Aly, Consumer; Kevin Bloom, Senior Social Worker, Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Royal North Shore Hospital; Katrina Debosz, CAR-T and Lymphoma Nurse Practitioner, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; Dr Samuel Dickson, Radiation Oncologist, Calvary Mater Newcastle; Dr Wojt Janowski, Haematologist, Calvary Mater Newcastle; Yvonne King, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Karen Maddock, Blood Transplant and Cell Therapy Nurse Practitioner, Westmead Hospital; Sheridan Wellings, Consumer.
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