Talking to Your Doctor About Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Debra Wood, RN
You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and ask questions you may not have considered.
- Write your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you receive, and make sure you understand what is being said. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for more information. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your doctor
About Your Risk of Developing
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma?
- What can I do to reduce my risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma?
About Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- What is the stage of my cancer?
- Was it caught early?
About Treatment Options
What is the best treatment option for non-Hodgkin lymphoma?
- What other options are there?
- What are the risks and benefits associated with this treatment plan?
- How long will the treatments last?
- What side effects should I watch for?
- Will my daily routine need to change?
- How will I feel during treatment?
- What will I need to do to take care of myself during the treatment period?
- What will we do if the treatment does not succeed?
About Lifestyle Changes
- How can I protect myself against infection?
- Do I need to make changes in my diet?
- Can I exercise? If so, how much?
About Your Outlook
- Will the treatments kill all the cancer cells?
- How do I know that my treatment program is effective?
- What can I do to protect my ability to have children in the future?
- Can you recommend a support group or other people whom I can talk with?
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
. Accessed January 28, 2021.
The doctor-patient relationship. American Cancer Society
website. Available at:
https://www.cancer.org/treatment/understanding-your-diagnosis/talking-about-cancer/the-doctor-patient-relationship.html. Accessed January 28, 2021.
Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Accessed January 28, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 1/28/2021