About Your Chemotherapy Treatment for Lymphoma

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This information explains what you should know when you start chemotherapy treatment for lymphoma at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), including when to call your healthcare provider and what you should avoid during your treatment.

Your nurse will give you information about your chemotherapy treatment, including information about the medication you will get and the side effects you may have during your treatment. To learn how to manage chemotherapy side effects, read the resource Managing Your Chemotherapy Side Effects.

What to Avoid During Chemotherapy

During your chemotherapy treatment, you need to avoid the following:

  • All vaccines. If you need to get a vaccine, such as the influenza (flu) or Pneumovax® (pneumonia) vaccines, you will need to get it before you start chemotherapy.
  • Contact with anyone who has an infection or had an infection recently.
  • Dental work that isn’t necessary, including routine cleaning, unless your doctor says it’s okay.
  • Aspirin, products that have aspirin, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.
  • Over the counter medications (medications you buy without a prescription), unless your doctor or nurse say it’s okay.
  • Taking certain vitamins or supplements. Some vitamins and supplements may affect your treatment. Talk with your doctor about any vitamins or supplements you’re taking.
  • Using enemas (liquid put into your anus to cause a bowel movement), suppositories (medication that’s inserted through your anus), or rectal thermometers.
  • Becoming pregnant.
  • Sunbathing. If you need to be in the sun, use sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher and wear long sleeves and a hat or scarf. Stay in the shade as much as possible.
  • Manicures or pedicures.
  • Coloring your hair.
  • Hot tubs.
  • Traveling long distances. If you must travel, talk with your doctor first.

Check with your doctor if you can have contact with someone who was recently vaccinated with a live vaccine (such as rotavirus or chickenpox).

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When to Call Your Healthcare Provider

Call your healthcare provider if you have:

  • A fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher
  • Signs of infection, such as:
    • Cough
    • Diarrhea (loose or watery bowel movements)
    • Chills
    • Flu-like symptoms (such as cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, fever, or feeling more tired than usual)
    • Needing to urinate (pee) more often than usual
    • Burning during urination (peeing)
    • Red, swollen, or tender area(s) on your skin
  • Signs of bleeding, such as:
    • Black stool (poop)
    • Bruising
    • Faint red rash
    • Bleeding from your nose
  • Not had a bowel movement in 2 days
  • Swelling or redness on your arms or legs
  • Not been able to eat or drink
  • New or worsening pain
  • Any problems with your teeth or mouth
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Contact Information

Contact Name/Phone Number
Doctor  
Physician Assistant  
Nurse  
Physician Office Assistant  
Doctor on Call 212-639-7900
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