Hodgkins Disease (cont.)
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Chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma
Most people with Hodgkin lymphoma are treated with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill lymphoma cells.
Many drugs are used for Hodgkin lymphoma. Usually, the drugs are given through a thin needle directly into a vein (intravenously). Some are given by mouth.
You'll probably receive a combination of drugs in a clinic, at the doctor's office, or at home. Some people need to stay in the hospital during treatment.
The side effects depend mainly on which drugs are given and how much. Chemotherapy kills fast-growing Hodgkin lymphoma cells, but the drugs can also harm normal cells that divide rapidly:
Ask your health care team whether the chemotherapy used for Hodgkin lymphoma could make you unable to have children. The fertility of adults may be harmed by the drugs, but most children treated for Hodgkin lymphoma seem to have normal fertility when they grow up. If you want to have a child someday after treatment, you may choose to store sperm or eggs before treatment starts.
Some of the drugs used for Hodgkin lymphoma can cause heart disease or cancer later on. See the Follow-up Care section for information about checkups after treatment.
The NCI booklet Chemotherapy and You has helpful ideas for coping with chemotherapy side effects.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/31/2013
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