Hodgkin lymphoma

Care team

At Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), we surround you with experts who focus completely on cancer care. A handful of people make up the core of your care team. You will have a hematologist-oncologist and a registered nurse who are experienced in caring for people with Hodgkin lymphoma. At some visits, you might see an advanced practice provider. Most patients get part of their treatment from infusion nurses. A patient care coordinator will schedule your visits. 

Others join your team based on your personal needs. If you need radiation therapy or a blood or marrow transplant, we have experts in these treatments. If you have a new health issue that might affect your cancer treatment, we call in the right experts. For example, if you have skin, heart or digestive problems, we might call in a dermatologist, cardiologist or gastroenterologist. We have specialists based at SCCA who know how to handle the issues that matter for people with cancer. 

Supportive care providers are also here to help. You may see SCCA dietitians, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers and others. All of them specialize in caring for people during and after cancer.

Gastroenterologist Gastroenterologists are trained to diagnose and treat diseases of the gastrointestinal system, including cancers of the liver, pancreas, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum and anus. Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues. Infusion An injection of medications or fluids into a vein over a period of time. Lymphoma Cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas. One is Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The other category is non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course. These subtypes behave and respond to treatment differently. Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur in children and adults, and prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer. Radiation therapy The use of high-energy radiation from X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body.

What each team member does

Advanced practice provider (APP)

Advanced practiced providers have training that is similar to physicians and can see you without your physician. At SCCA, these health care professionals work closely with your hematologist-oncologist in the clinic. There are two types: physician assistants (PAs) and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs). They help provide and plan your treatment and also help manage the effects of your disease and treatment.

Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues. Nurse practitioner A registered nurse who has additional education and training in how to diagnose and treat disease. In cancer care, a nurse practitioner may manage the primary care of patients and their families. A registered nurse who has additional education and training in how to diagnose and treat disease. Nurse practitioners are licensed at the state level and certified by national nursing organizations. In cancer care, a nurse practitioner may manage the primary care of patients and their families, based on a practice agreement with a physician. Physician assistant A health professional who is licensed to do certain medical procedures under the guidance of a physician. A health professional who is licensed to do certain medical procedures under the guidance of a physician. A physician assistant may take medical histories, do physical exams, take blood and urine samples, care for wounds and give injections and immunizations.
Hematologist-oncologist

This physician manages your medicine-based treatments. Most people with Hodgkin lymphoma begin treatment by getting chemotherapy. Some people get targeted therapy or immunotherapy. If watchful waiting is right for you, you will see this physician on a regular schedule to check your health and, if you need it, to start treatment.

Your hematologist-oncologist will:

  • See you during your first visit. They will give you an exam and order any tests you need to diagnose or stage your disease.
  • Explain what your diagnosis and stage mean and answer your questions.
  • Recommend medicine-based treatments to match your exact needs. They will choose the medicines, doses, schedule and sequence. They will also talk with you about the benefits and risks.
  • See you on a regular schedule to check how your cancer responds to treatment and how you are doing overall.
  • Offer you ways to prevent, relieve and cope with side effects of treatment, like medicine to help with nausea.
  • Work with the rest of your care team if you need other types of treatment.
Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy. Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Lymphoma Cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas. One is Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The other category is non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course. These subtypes behave and respond to treatment differently. Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur in children and adults, and prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer. Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores. Stage The extent of a cancer in the body. Staging is usually based on the size of the tumor, whether lymph nodes contain cancer and whether the cancer has spread from the original site to other parts of the body. Targeted therapy A type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells while causing less harm to normal cells. A type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells while causing less harm to normal cells. Some targeted therapies block the action of certain enzymes, proteins or other molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Other types of targeted therapies help the immune system kill cancer cells, or they deliver toxic substances directly to cancer cells and kill them. Targeted therapy may have fewer side effects than other types of cancer treatment. Most targeted therapies are either small molecule drugs or monoclonal antibodies. Watchful waiting Closely watching a patient’s condition but not giving treatment unless symptoms appear or change. During watchful waiting, patients may be given certain tests and exams. Closely watching a patient’s condition but not giving treatment unless symptoms appear or change. Watchful waiting is sometimes used in conditions that progress slowly. It is also used when the risks of treatment are greater than the possible benefits. During watchful waiting, patients may be given certain tests and exams. Watchful waiting is sometimes used in prostate cancer. It is a type of expectant management.
Patient care coordinator

Your patient care coordinator works closely with you and your physician. They will schedule your appointments. 

Radiation oncologist

This physician treats cancer with radiation. They prescribe and manage this part of your care. Working with a radiation oncology team, they plan and deliver your treatments.

Your radiation oncologist will:

  • See you if your medical exam shows that radiation therapy is likely to help. If you didn’t need radiation at the start of care, but your situation changes, we will arrange for you to see a radiation oncologist then.
  • Recommend radiation therapy to match your case. They will decide the type, dose and schedule. They will also talk with you about the benefits and risks.
  • Work behind the scenes with other radiation experts. These experts make sure you receive the right dose in the right places (dosimetrist). They also maintain the equipment that is used (medical physicist).
  • Answer your questions about radiation therapy, like why you need it and what to expect.
  • See you on a regular schedule during radiation therapy to check how your cancer responds and how you are doing overall.
  • Offer you ways to prevent, relieve and cope with side effects of treatment, like medicine to help with nausea.
  • Work with the rest of your care team if you need other types of treatment.
Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation. Radiation oncologist A physician who has special training in using radiation to treat cancer. Radiation therapy The use of high-energy radiation from X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body. Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores.
Radiation oncology nurse

This specialist sees you when you come in for radiation treatment. They explain your treatment, check your health, answer your questions and help you with side effects.

Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores.
Radiation therapist

This person positions you each time you come in for radiation treatment. This makes sure that your treatment goes to the right places on your body. They also operate the machines that deliver the radiation.

Registered nurse

Your nurse manages your care with your physician. They also help with procedures and treatments. Nurses are resources for you and your caregiver. They can answer questions and help with a wide range of topics, like how to cope with side effects or get other services you need at SCCA.

Caregiver A person who gives care to people who need help, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. A person who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. Caregivers may be health professionals, family members, friends, social workers or members of the clergy. They may give care at home, in a hospital or in another health care setting. Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores.
Supportive care services

Many types of supportive care team members are here to help you and your family. They include dietitians, physical therapists, pain medicine specialists, psychologists, social workers, spiritual health staff, palliative care specialists, naturopaths and acupuncturists.

Supportive Care Services

Transplant team

If you need a blood or marrow transplant, you will have a specialized team from the Fred Hutchinson Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA. Your team includes a transplant oncologist, transplant nurse, pharmacist, dietitian, team coordinator and social worker. 

This team will:

  • Give you an exam (and your donor, if you need one).
  • Decide on a transplant approach to match your case. 
  • Prepare you and your caregiver.
  • Do your transplant.
  • Provide care as you recover.

Your Bone Marrow Transplant Team

Caregiver A person who gives care to people who need help, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. A person who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. Caregivers may be health professionals, family members, friends, social workers or members of the clergy. They may give care at home, in a hospital or in another health care setting. Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.