Non-Hodgkins Lymphomas (cont.)

Second opinion

Before starting treatment, you might want a second opinion about your diagnosis and your treatment plan. Many insurance companies cover a second opinion if you or your doctor requests it.

It may take some time and effort to gather your medical records and see another doctor. In most cases, a brief delay in starting treatment will not make treatment less effective. To make sure, you should discuss this delay with your doctor. Sometimes people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma need treatment right away.

There are many ways to find a doctor for a second opinion. You can ask your doctor, a local or state medical society, a nearby hospital, or a medical school for names of specialists.

Supportive care

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and its treatment can lead to other health problems. You may receive supportive care to prevent or control these problems and to improve your comfort and quality of life during treatment.

You may receive antibiotics and other drugs to help protect you from infections. Your health care team may advise you to stay away from crowds and from people with colds and other contagious diseases. If an infection develops, it can be serious, and you will need treatment right away.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and its treatment also can lead to anemia, which may make you feel very tired. Drugs or blood transfusions can help with this problem.

You can get information about supportive care on NCI's Web site at http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/coping and from NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER.

Nutrition and physical activity

It's important for you to take care of yourself by eating well and staying as active as you can.

You need the right amount of calories to maintain a good weight. You also need enough protein to keep up your strength. Eating well may help you feel better and have more energy.

Sometimes, especially during or soon after treatment, you may not feel like eating. You may be uncomfortable or tired. You may find that foods do not taste as good as they used to. In addition, the side effects of treatment (such as poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, or mouth sores) can make it hard to eat well. Your doctor, a registered dietitian, or another health care provider can suggest ways to deal with these problems.

Many people find they feel better when they stay active. Walking, yoga, swimming, and other activities can keep you strong and increase your energy. Exercise may reduce nausea and pain and make treatment easier to handle. It also can help relieve stress. Whatever physical activity you choose, be sure to talk to your doctor before you start. Also, if your activity causes you pain or other problems, be sure to let your doctor or nurse know about it.


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