NHL treatment can lead to physical and emotional/financial/social side effects.
Physical side effects can range from mild to severe and can include:

  • Decreased blood cell counts, some necessitating blood transfusions, or treatments to stimulate blood cell counts
  • Mouth sores
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Temporary hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Infections which may result in reactivation of pre-existing viral infections such as hepatitis B
  • Bone loss/fractures
  • Neuropathies
  • Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) caused due to release of contents of dying cells into the bloodstream
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare but serious CNS infection.

Additionally, patients can have long-term effects of treatment including infertility, heart disease, and secondary cancers.
Palliative or supportive care is an important component of your recovery and may include medications to counter side effects, nutritional changes, relaxation exercises, emotional/spiritual support, and other treatments. Talk to your doctor or healthcare team to explore specific palliative care options.2

The short answer is no. However, minimizing modifiable risk factors such as limiting exposure to certain infections, maintaining a healthy immune system, maintaining a healthy weight by keeping physically active and eating a healthy diet, will lower your risk for NHL.3
Ask your physician about your specific type of lymphoma, about your treatment plan, what to expect during and after treatment, and any other questions that can help you make informed decisions about your healthcare options.

At the time of diagnosis
What type of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma do I have?
Is it an aggressive cancer?
Do I need any further tests to confirm this diagnosis? Do I need to see any other types of doctors?
What are my treatment options?
How soon should I begin treatment?
Who can I talk to regarding insurance and treatment costs?
At the time of finalizing treatment plan
How many patients have you treated with my type of cancer? What are your success rates?
Why are you recommending this treatment? Do I have other options as well?
Should I get a second opinion?
Can you give me details about the treatment? Duration? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
What risks, complications, side effects can I expect during/after treatment? Will I need to take time off work?
What are my chances of going into remission?
Will the cancer come back even if the treatment succeeds? What is the plan if the treatment fails?
During treatment
Is the treatment working? When will I know if it has worked or not?
What, if any, are the precautions I should take now? Can I resume normal life?
How can I reach you on nights/weekends?
What are some symptoms I should tell you about right away?
After treatment
What symptoms should I look for? What is my follow-up treatment plan if any?
Can I resume normal life?

If your cancer has relapsed or is not responsive after treatment, you may be eligible to enroll in a clinical trial that is testing new drugs for your condition. Talk to your doctor about your eligibility to be a part of an ongoing clinical trial. Check out the status of various ongoing clinical trials in the Resources section.


  1. Leukemia & Lymphoma society. Side effects. https://www.lls.org/lymphoma/non-hodgkin-lymphoma/treatment/side-effects
  2. Cancer.Net. Lymphoma – Non-Hodgkin: Symptoms and Signs. Approved March 2021. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/lymphoma-non-hodgkin/symptoms-and-signs
  3. American Cancer Society. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention. Last Revised June 9, 2020. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-hodgkin-lymphoma/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html
  4. American Cancer Society. Questions to Ask About Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Last Revised August 1, 2018. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-hodgkin-lymphoma/detection-diagnosis-staging/talking-with-doctor.html
  5. Cancer.Net. Lymphoma – Non-Hodgkin: About Clinical Trials. Approved March 2021. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/lymphoma-non-hodgkin/about-clinical-trials

All URLs accessed on September 21, 2022.

Scroll to Top