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Dad diagnosed with lymphoma
Mar 2, 2001

Dear Doctor, My Dad was infected with HIV in 1984 and has had AIDS since 1996. He was just diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma, after being in pain for the last four months. His stomach and lungs are affected. He has a CD4 count of 50. The doctors have him on a moriphin patch and demoral. He has lost 40 pounds in the last five months. He is currently taking a treamtent of Rituxan because his body is too weak for chemotherapy. My question: In a case like his, how long does the patient usually live and will it be possible to keep him from feeling pain as the disease progresses? Thank you for your help.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Dear supportive son/daughter: If you father has newly diagnosed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, then he should receive chemotherapy, not Rituxan. If he is "too weak for chemotherapy", then he should receive half-dose chemotherapy until he is healthier. Half-dose chemotherapy for HIV-related lymphoma works quite well. I have treated many patients with more than a 40 pound weight loss. You ask about his prognosis -- If he responds to the low dose chemotherapy, he might do well. It's hard for me to give you a firm idea without knowing more details. His doctor should certainly be able to keep him out of pain. I wish you luck with him. BD.


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