During your treatment for B-cell lymphoma, a wide range of experts will make sure you get the best possible care. Your team will likely include cancer doctors, nurses, technicians, dietitians, and more. They'll help you make health decisions and guide you through treatment.
There are several types of B-cell lymphoma. Which treatment you get depends on the kind you have, the stage of your disease, and where it has spread in your body.
Your Treatment Team
Each of these experts has a different role in your care:
Medical oncologist. It's a doctor who treats cancer with chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and other drugs. This person may be the main doctor you see for B-cell lymphoma.
Hematologist. They treat diseases of the blood, including blood cancers like lymphoma.
Radiation oncologist. Radiation is the main treatment for some types of early-stage B-cell lymphoma. If you need it, a radiation oncologist is the person who gives it to you.
Radiologist. They read the results of imaging tests like CT and PET scans. These tests show where cancer is in your body so your doctor can plan your treatment.
Pathologist. This specialist looks for cancer in samples of your blood and lymph nodes to help diagnose lymphoma.
Oncology nurse. They're specially trained to care for people with cancer. Your oncology nurse can:
- Give you chemotherapy drugs under your doctor's direction
- Coordinate your care and act as a link between you and your doctor
- Teach you and your family about your treatment
- Show you how to manage side effects
Surgical oncologist. Doctors rarely use surgery to treat B-cell lymphoma, but they do use it to diagnose this cancer. During a biopsy, the surgeon removes part or all of a lymph node to see if you have lymphoma and to find out what type you have.
Nutritionist or dietitian. Some lymphoma treatments can cause you to lose your appetite or make foods taste strange. A nutrition expert helps you create an eating plan that fits your tastes and health needs. They may also adjust your diet to reduce treatment side effects.
Mental health professionals. It's normal to feel like you're on an emotional rollercoaster when you have B-cell lymphoma. Mental health experts can help you manage your anxiety or depression:
- Psychologists use therapy to talk you through any worries or problems you have.
- Psychiatrists prescribe medicines to improve your mood.
- Social workers offer support and point you to resources where you can get the help you need.
Physical and occupational therapists. Both of these professionals teach you the skills you need to get around more easily in your daily life. For example, they might show you how to:
- Get dressed and bathe using special devices
- Save your energy so you don't get too tired
- Improve your strength
- Ease symptoms from your cancer or treatment
Other specialists. B-cell lymphoma and its treatments can affect many parts of your body. Some of the other experts you might see include:
- Gastroenterologists, who treat diseases of the digestive system
- Nephrologists, who treat kidney diseases
- Dermatologists, who care for skin problems
Choose the Right Team
It's important to work with a group of people who are experts in their field and who understand your needs. You should trust them and feel comfortable talking with them about any problems that arise.