The Goal of Chemotherapy for Treating Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs are designed to attack and kill cells that divide quickly. Cancer cells divide more quickly than most cells in the body. This means that the drugs used in chemotherapy mainly affect lymphoma cells. However, they can also affect fast-growing normal cells, such as cells in the digestive tract or cells in the hair roots. This is why chemotherapy causes some side effects.
The way you get chemotherapy depends on the type and stage of your lymphoma. If you get chemotherapy by an injection or pill, it’s a systemic treatment. That means the drugs travel throughout your body in your bloodstream, killing lymphoma cells all over your body. If lymphoma spreads to your brain and spinal cord, your doctor may also inject chemotherapy drugs into your spinal fluid. This is a type of regional chemotherapy. It’s sometimes called intrathecal or CNS injection.