Cancer therapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) can sometimes produce side effects. For most patients, treatment side effects are temporary and go away once therapy ends. For other patients, side effects can be more severe, sometimes requiring hospitalization. Some patients never have side effects.
Before you undergo treatment, talk with your doctor about potential side effects. Drugs and other therapies can prevent or manage many side effects.
Common Side Effects
Chemotherapy drugs are the main culprits when it comes to causing unwanted side effects. These drugs kill cancer cells, but they damage normal cells, too. The lining of the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines are particularly vulnerable to damage.
The side effects you may experience depend on:
- The intensity of chemotherapy
- The drugs used during therapy
- The location of radiation therapy
- Your age
- Your overall health and whether you have any chronic health conditions like diabetes or kidney disease
The following side effects are common to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and stem cell transplantation. Click here to read more about these side effects.
- Low blood cell counts
- Mouth sores
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bladder irritation
- Blood in the urine
- Extreme fatigue
- Hair loss
- Tingling sensations
- Lung, heart, kidney or nerve problems
- Graft versus host disease (if you've undergone allogeneic stem cell transplantation)
Long-Term and Late Effects
For some patients, side effects may last well after they finish treatment. To read more about lingering side effects, see The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s free information booklets:
- Long-Term and Late Effects of Treatment in Adults
- Long-Term and Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma Facts
- Managing Side Effects
- Integrative Medicine and Complementary and Alternative Therapies
- Download lists of suggested questions to ask your doctor
- FDA drug information webpage
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s free booklet, Understanding Side Effects of Drug Therapy