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Understanding Follicular Lymphoma (Part 4): Q&A Session
Posted: May 02, 2024
Understanding Follicular Lymphoma (Part 4): Q&A Session image

If you've recently been diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, you're likely grappling with a flurry of emotions and questions about what comes next. Understanding the management of this condition is crucial for making informed decisions about your health.

On April 3rd, 2024, three lymphoma specialists joined HealthTree in a virtual roundtable to discuss the basics of follicular lymphoma. These specialists included Dr. Samuel Yamshon, Dr. Talal Hilal, and Dr. Sarah Rutherford. Following their presentations, there was a Q&A session where the doctors weighed in on questions from the audience. You can watch the Q&A portion or read the summary below:

The Q&A session commenced with a discussion on the optimal treatment approach for patients living with follicular lymphoma. Dr. Rutherford emphasized the importance of intermittent treatment, highlighting that while patients may live for decades with the disease, treatment is administered as needed, often during flare-ups.

Next, the Q&A panel addressed concerns about the potential progression of follicular lymphoma into more aggressive forms. Dr. Hilal provided valuable insights, indicating that while such transformations are possible, they are relatively uncommon and often associated with multiple relapses or advanced disease.

The conversation turned to assessing treatment efficacy. Dr. Yamshon elaborated on how patients and clinicians can gauge treatment response, emphasizing the significance of symptom improvement and observable changes in lymph nodes. Additionally, he shared real-life experiences of witnessing patients' lymph nodes shrink visibly during treatment, underscoring the gratification of seeing tangible progress.

Addressing concerns about managing treatment side effects, the panel emphasized the importance of open communication with healthcare providers. Dr. Hilal mentioned the role of palliative care specialists in mitigating side effects and enhancing patients' quality of life.

The discussion also explored the significance of regular follow-up appointments and the possibility of seeking second opinions or consulting specialists. Dr. Hilal highlighted the importance of personalized treatment plans and encouraged patients to explore various options tailored to their unique circumstances.

The session concluded with insights into defining remission and navigating the uncertainties surrounding the curability of follicular lymphoma. Dr. Yamshon likened managing follicular lymphoma to a journey where the goal is to live with the condition while maintaining a good quality of life.

Questions Asked:

  • 55:01 Are patients living for 10 to 15 years always on treatment?
  • 56:26 I've heard follicular lymphoma can turn into more aggressive forms of lymphoma how common is this occurrence, and is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening?
  • 01:03:03 If I'm experiencing general symptoms while on treatment, is there any way to know if it's from the disease growing or if it's from the treatment itself?
  • 01:04:30 Can I keep seeing my general oncologist, or do I need to see a lymphoma specialist? 
  • 01:07:40 I could not tolerate Rituxan infusions I had every reaction and side effect now being treated with Revlimid is Revlimid helpful alone?
  • 01:11:31 Are there precautions patients should take to mitigate the risk of infection when doing maintenance rituximab treatments?
  • 01:14:11 Who should I reach out to to help mitigate side effects of treatment?
  • 01:17:14 Given that follicular lymphoma is not curable today, how is remission and no evidence of disease defined?

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The author Kat Richardson

about the author
Kat Richardson

Kat is from Lehi, Utah and is the Health Education Manager for lymphoma. She has worked in healthcare for a decade now, and earned her degree in Community Health Education and Promotion. Kat is passionate about disease prevention as well as improving quality of life and health equity. She enjoys reading, hiking, baking, ice skating, gardening, time with her family and friends, and most of all, spoiling her nieces and nephew.

Thanks to our HealthTree Community for Follicular Lymphoma Sponsors:

Regeneron
Bristol Myers Squibb

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