Watch and wait for low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Doctor and patient

There may be little or no benefit to treatment if the lymphoma is very slow growing and not causing any symptoms. It also means you avoid any harmful side-effects of treatment. It may be best just to have it monitored. Watch and wait can last for months if not years.


Your doctors will check you regularly with physical exams, blood tests and possibly scans. Your doctor might start treatment if:

  • Symptoms develop
  • Your blood cell count has decreased
  • Your bone marrow or other organs are affected

What should I look out for? 

Tell your doctor if you get any B symptoms like high temperatures or fevers, night sweats, weight loss or poor appetite, and an itchy rash. These might mean the lymphoma is becoming active. 

Worried about not having treatment?

You may be relieved the disease is not active but you may start to worry that it will get worse. You may also feel very anxious before your check-ups. If you have any questions or worries about not having treatment, ask a doctor or nurse. You can also visit a Daffodil Centre or call our Support Line to speak to a cancer nurse.

Treatment can be delayed for as long as you are feeling well.

For more information

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1800 200 700

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