General principles of treating lymphoma

Except in certain relatively rare situations, surgery is not used to cure cancer but is required to accurately confirm the diagnosis.  The general aim when surgery is undertaken in patients suspected of having lymphoma is to do the safest possible procedure to confirm the diagnosis, rather than a procedure that aims to remove all of the lymphoma. This is because the optimal treatment is chemotherapy or radiotherapy and unnecessarily extensive surgery may just delay this treatment. Also, in many cases treatment is not actually needed for many years after the diagnosis has been made.

Treatment is highly individualised, but the possible treatment options may include:

The goal of therapy is to maximize the chances you can be cured with the least possible side effects. In some cases, the lymphoma can not be cured, in which case the goal of treatment is prolongation of life or minimising the symptoms from the lymphoma without producing worse symptoms from the treatment. When you undergo treatment, or are discussing treatment options, you should clarify the specific goals in your case and ensure that the goals of your doctor are the same as your goals.

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