Some types of cancer do not require urgent medical treatment and doctors are unable to postpone it. This principle is called “watch and wait”.
This was told by the doctor-oncologist, Tatyana Scripts.
The approach of “watch and wait” when possible?
- When there is no evidence of active disease;
- When the diagnosis indolentia (slow) non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
- The small size of the lymph nodes
- The blood is normal;
- No effect on the heart, lungs, kidneys or other organs.
Psychologically, for the patient it is difficult to understand, because there is a disease, and it is not treated. Sometimes the patient can wait for years, but many studies have shown that the approach of “watch and wait” does not affect life expectancy. So no need to ruin a patient’s quality of life if therapy can be postponed.
Not always to treat the cancer you need immediately / unsplash.com
What are the types of lymphoma?
- Follicular lymphoma;
- Marginal zone lymphoma;
- Lymphoplasmacytoid lymphoma;
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
“Watch and wait” does not mean to be passive and patients must be monitored every 3-6 months or more often. During the visits the doctor will ask about your wellbeing, making the results of research and the need to start therapy.
The main advantage of the “watch and wait” – you don’t have to deal with side effects of treatment.
How long can I stick to this approach?
Nobody knows. There are patients who need a month of starting therapy, and someone can wait 5-10 years. And someone treatment may not be necessary.
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