Watchful Waiting for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Because some forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma can be indolent, or slow-growing, immediate treatment may not be needed at the time of diagnosis in people who are not experiencing any symptoms. Instead, the doctor may advise watchful waiting, or close monitoring, of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Some people require no treatment for years.

During watchful waiting, your doctor closely monitors your symptoms and conducts various diagnostic tests, such as CT or PET scans and blood tests, to see if the disease has become more advanced. Although watchful waiting appointments usually occur every three months, you and your doctor can determine the right monitoring schedule for you.

Treatment may be necessary only if a tumor begins to cause symptoms such as fever or weight loss, a tumor shows signs of growing, or tests show more swollen lymph nodes or an enlarged spleen.

If your doctor notices signs that non-Hodgkin lymphoma may be progressing, he or she may recommend beginning treatment.