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Doctors Lounge - Oncology Answers

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Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma


 nipnose - Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:14 pm

My husband was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in March of 2003. He went through several treatments with the CHOP chemo and rituxin. He is now having to do the treatment with rituxin 4 times a month(every 4 months). When they first found his lymphoma, it was on the liver, kidney, lymph nodes under his arms, and 10 percent in his bone marrow. Since then, the doctor has only ordered one series of tests to see what the treatment was doing for his cancer. He only done ct scans. He didn't do another bone marrow test. We have a friend who has cancer now and is having a test called PET Scan done. Is this something our doctor should be doing for my husband? Also, his left breast (mostly the nipple) is really tender. His cancer doctor is not concerned. He says everything is going as he wants it to. However our family doctor went ahead and done a mammogram and it showed a benign tumor. This was done in December of 2003. His breast is still very tender. Should we address this again with his cancer specialist? I know this is two questions for you. I would appreciate anything you can do to help us with these questions.
Thank You.
 Dr. Jeffrey Gordon - Sat Apr 24, 2004 6:30 pm

Thanks for your question to The Doctor's Lounge. Please note that I am limited in what I can do to give you information since I am not privy to your husband's case and I have not seen any of his tests results or examined him in person. Any information that I provide does not replace the expert advice of your husband's doctors.

PET scans can look at the lymphoma in a different way than can the CAT scans. The PET scans do not replace the CAT scans, but can add to the information. The PET scans are not always done, but more and more PET scans are being used along with CAT scans. Sometimes lymph nodes may look normal in size on CAT scan but can "light up" on PET indicating residual disease.

Regarding the finding in the breast, it either can be monitored closely for changes and if such changes do occur, then proceeding with a biopsy or it can be biopsied now to make certain that it is benign.

My best to your husband.

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