If you are diagnosed with low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you may not have treatment straightaway. Instead you may have regular check-ups to monitor the cancer. This approach is called watchful waiting (or watch and wait).
Having treatment earlier than necessary can cause side effects. It can also make your body resistant to treatment, so if you need it later, it may not work as well. Many people who have untreated low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma continue their usual daily activities for many years. Some people find watchful waiting hard to accept and prefer to have treatment immediately. If waiting for treatment makes you feel anxious, speak with your treatment team. They may be able to put you in touch with someone who has had a similar experience.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
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.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.