Treatment Options for Lymphoma
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: You or someone you care about may have been diagnosed with lymphoma. This video will help you understand some of the available treatment options. Lymphoma is a cancer that begins in your lymphatic system. In the lymphatic tissue, lymphoma originates in certain types of white blood cells called lymphocytes. In lymphoma, the lymphocytes become abnormal and multiply to make too many abnormal cells that don't work properly. The two main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Your doctor will make a treatment plan specifically for your lymphoma. It will be based on the type of lymphoma, the stage, your symptoms, age, overall health, and other factors. Treatment options may include one or more of the following: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplant. Chemotherapy is usually injected into a vein under the skin or taken as a pill orally. The chemotherapy then enters the bloodstream to reach and destroy cancer cells. Another treatment option is radiation therapy. It uses high energy rays to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. The target area of the radiation varies depending on the stage and type of lymphoma. The type of radiation therapy used for lymphoma is external beam radiation. It uses a machine that aims carefully focused beams of radiation at the cancer from outside of the body. Targeted therapy drugs act on specific targets or markers on cancer cells. Since cancer cells may have more of these markers than normal cells do, targeted therapy drugs may affect cancer cells more than normal cells. When targeted therapy drug is attached to the markers on cancer cells, the cancer cells may stop growing and dividing, It can also lead to cell death. Immunotherapy can help your immune system fight lymphoma. For example, monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made versions of proteins that the immune system makes to help fight infections. Monoclonal antibodies can be designed to attack specific targets such as markers on lymphoma cells. When attached to immune cells, monoclonal antibodies can help recognize and destroy the lymphoma cells. A stem cell transplant replaces blood-forming stem cells that were damaged or destroyed during your cancer treatment with either your or a healthy donor stem cells. First, healthy stem cells are collected from you or a donor. Then the stem cells are stored while you receive treatment for cancer such as chemotherapy or radiation to try to kill all your blood cells. After these treatments are complete, the healthy stem cells are put into your blood through an intravenous line or IV. In your body, these blood-forming stem cells provide a healthy supply of future blood cells. Your doctor may prescribe a combination of the treatments we've discussed or different treatment options than those mentioned here. As you deal with a diagnosis of lymphoma, continue to talk to your doctor and your cancer care team.
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