Coping With NHL: A Healthy Lifestyle Can Help

Successful treatment can start with a healthy lifestyle. The following tips can help:

  • Eat right. A balanced diet is important throughout cancer treatment. But you may have side effects that affect your appetite. Try having a few small meals or snacks throughout the day instead of 2 or 3 large meals. Drink cool, clear liquids to help calm your stomach
  • Stay involved. Do something engaging with your loved ones, like playing a game, listening to music, or watching a movie
  • Get plenty of rest. You may feel tired during and after treatment. Ask others to help you with chores such as shopping, housework, or driving. Take naps throughout the day and sleep longer at night if you need to
  • Exercise. If your doctor recommends it, light exercise such as walking may help with fatigue
  • Seek support. You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed. This is common. Sharing your feelings with a support group or loved one can help you cope

Understanding your feelings

A diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) can bring up many emotions. Here are some steps that may help you cope:

  • Accept your feelings. It is okay to feel sad or angry. But focusing on the reasons for hope can help
  • Keep your routine as normal as possible
  • Write down your feelings and share them with others
  • As much as possible, keep doing the things you like to do

NHL is a serious disease. But remember that there are many treatments and many excellent support resources for people with NHL.

Caregivers can help

Giving emotional support is a natural way to help your loved one. But at times, it may also be quite challenging. The following tips may help:

  • Help your loved one work through the many feelings he or she may be having. Let him or her know you are there to help
  • Meet other patients or caregivers who are dealing with NHL
  • Support groups can connect you with another person who is living with your loved one's type of cancer

Support for Caregivers


RITUXAN® (Rituximab) is indicated for the treatment of:

  • Low-grade or follicular CD20-positive Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as a single-agent therapy in patients whose disease recurred or did not respond to initial treatment
  • Follicular CD20-positive Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as an initial treatment with chemotherapy, and in patients whose initial treatment was successful, as a single-agent follow-up therapy
  • Low-grade or follicular CD20-positive Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as a single agent follow-up therapy for patients who responded to initial treatment with CVP chemotherapy
  • CD20-positive diffuse large B-cell Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as an initial treatment in combination with CHOP chemotherapy

People with serious infections should not receive RITUXAN.

Important Safety Information

What is the most important information I should know about RITUXAN?

Tell your doctor right away about any side effect you experience. RITUXAN can cause serious side effects that can lead to death, including:

  • Infusion Reactions: may occur during or within 24 hours of your infusion. Your doctor should give you medicines before your treatment. Symptoms can include hives, rash, itching, facial or oral swelling, sudden cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, feeling faint, racing heart, or chest pain
  • Severe Skin and Mouth Reactions: symptoms can include painful sores, ulcers, or blisters on your skin, lips or mouth; peeling skin; rash; or pustules
  • Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Reactivation: may cause serious liver problems including liver failure and death. If you have had hepatitis B or are a carrier of HBV, receiving RITUXAN could cause the virus to become an active infection again. You should not receive RITUXAN if you have active HBV liver disease. Your doctor will do blood tests to check for HBV infection prior to treatment and will monitor you during and for several months following your treatment
  • Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML): a rare, serious brain infection that can lead to severe disability and death and for which there is no known prevention, treatment, or cure. Symptoms can include difficulty thinking, loss of balance, changes in speech or walking, weakness on one side of your body, or blurred or lost vision

What are the additional possible serious side effects of RITUXAN?

Tell your doctor right away about any side effect you experience. RITUXAN can cause serious side effects that can lead to death, including:

  • Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS): may cause kidney failure and the need for dialysis treatment, abnormal heart rhythm, and can lead to death. Your doctor may give you medicines before your treatment to help prevent TLS
  • Serious Infections: can happen during and after treatment and can lead to death. These infections may be bacterial, fungal, or viral. Symptoms can include fever; cold or flu symptoms; earache or headache; pain during urination; white patches in the mouth or throat; cuts or scrapes that are red, warm, swollen, or painful
  • Heart Problems: symptoms can include chest pain and irregular heartbeats that may require treatment. Your doctor may need to stop your treatment
  • Kidney Problems: your doctor should do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working
  • Stomach and Serious Bowel Problems: can include blockage or tears in the bowel that can lead to death. Stomach area pain during treatment can be a symptom
  • Low Blood Cell Counts: your blood cell counts may be monitored during treatment

The most common side effects of RITUXAN are infusion reactions, chills, infections, body aches, tiredness, and low white blood cells.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. It is not known if RITUXAN may harm your unborn baby or pass into your breast milk. Women should use birth control while using RITUXAN and for 12 months after treatment.

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all of the possible side effects of RITUXAN. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Please see the RITUXAN full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide, for additional important safety information at

You may report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or

You may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.