Lymphoma Treatment: Watch and Wait

The "Watch and Wait" or watchful waiting treatment is used on indolent (slow growing) cancers. It means that a doctor does not actively treat a patient but monitors the growth of the disease.

Why is this done? In some cases, cancer is caught in its very early stages, when it is less responsive to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The watch and wait method is used to ensure that when treatment is started, it is effective.

If a patient is living comfortably and doesn’t experience any uncomfortable side effects from their cancer, then the watch and wait method is often the doctor’s first choice. During this time, the patient will undergo frequent medical tests to determine the stage of the disease.

Once the cancer evolves into a treatable stage, then other treatment options are pursued. This may involve chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery, or a combination of these.

The benefits of the watch and wait method are proven. Studies have examined cases where this method is used and have found that it doesn’t decrease a patient’s chance of survival when used properly. In fact, it is often helpful. Since most cancer treatments are harmful to the body, waiting to administer them until they are the most effective reduces damage to the patient.

The watch and wait method is never used on aggressive cancers. It is rarely used on cancers in advanced stages, unless the tumors are extremely slow growing.

Related Reading

Photo by Bill Branson, NCI

More Articles

More Articles

The term 'metastatic lymphoma' does not refer to a diagnosis. Unlike many of the subtypes of lymphoma we have...

This article looks at the Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma survival rate as well as the Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma mortality rate ....

Lymphoma is a cancer affecting the white blood cells (lymphocytes) of the body's immune system. The cells begin to grow abnormally and much faster...

Hodgkin's Lymphoma (Disease) has a colorful history: It was not the first cancer discovered but it was one of the first in which treatments were...

Often the one who makes the first diagnosis of Hodgkin's Lymphoma / Disease is the person affected. There are some...

Usually, even if a subtype of lymphoma is known to be indolent (slow-growing), it is considered a malignant...

While the average lifespan for hamsters is only about 2.5 years, and they are therefore less prone to long-term illnesses, it is possible for a...

This entry looks at pancreatic lymphoma, or primary pancreatic lymphoma (PPL), one of the subtypes of lymphoma. '...

Advances in the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma have resulted in remarkable survival rates, even for...

The pathophysiology of lymphoma refers to the process or processes going on inside the body that are sometimes reflected in the signs and symptoms...

Since there are several subtypes of T cell lymphoma, there will necessarily be several non-specific T cell lymphoma...

Lymphoma is the most common cancer in dogs, and the subtype most dogs present with is...

Lymphoma is a general term for cancer in the lymph system. The lymph system is made up of many cells and organs, including the lymph nodes, thymus...

Cutaneous B cell lymphoma is a type of lymphoma (cancer) that begins in the skin and affects the B cells of...

This entry looks renal lymphoma, also known as primary renal lymphoma (PRL), one of the subtypes of lymphoma. '...

Sitemap