Sunday, October 23, 2016

Expanding Treatment Options

Things have been very busy lately. I haven't had much time to read and write for the last few weeks. Work has been busy (and I'm always grateful to have a job I like, and the good health to be able to keep at it), and my kids' lives have been even busier. We saw my oldest son this weekend; he's been away at school, and we went down to see him, which was great. But now I'm way behind on everything, including Lympho Bob (but worth it to see my son).

So I have some reading for you to do, without much commentary from me. It's an article called "Treatment Options for B Cell Lymphomas Continue to Expand," from the most recent Cure magazine. Cure is often found in oncologists' offices (in the U.S., anyway), so chances are good that some of you have seen it.

The article discusses some of the newer treatments for B Cell Lymphomas, including Follicular Lymphoma) and makes the point that there are lots out there and lots more being developed. It's overall a very hopeful article.

I could object to a few of the details. I personally wouldn't call Follicular Lymphoma "an uncommon blood cancer," since it's the second most common type of NHL. I'm also not crazy about referring to treatment options as "alphabet soup," which seems to encourage people to just be confused about things and not do a little work to learn about the disease.

But those are small complaints, and mostly the article is very good at a few important things:
  • It is, as I said, very hopeful in painting a picture of the future of treatments for lymphoma. We have options, and more are on the way. We shouldn't ever lose sight of that.
  • It is pretty honest about the downsides of treatment. The patient that gets focused on in the article has Follicular Lymphoma, and the side effects she deals with are not pleasant. I know I often focus on positive things about lymphoma research, and ignore things like side effects. It's good to be reminded that treatments all have risks, and many of us know from experience.
  • The article makes a big point of the importance of clinical trials. Great treatments won't get to us without approval, and approval won't happen if patients don't participate in trials. For some patients, a trial might be the best option -- even better than treatments that were already approved. (You can find a clinical trial finder at Lymphomation, along with advice about whether or not a trial is right for you.)
So read the article. I'm going to take a nap and then get back to work.

More soon (I hope).

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