Excerpted from “A Patient’s Guide to Understanding Cutaneous Lymphoma”
Cutaneous lymphomas are most often chronic illnesses. Because they are chronic illnesses, treatments are often given continuously over many months to years. Both doctors and patients look for mild, safe, well tolerated, and effective therapies that can treat and control the lymphoma for many months and often years. In fact, when studying new treatments, doctors consider both duration of response (how long the treatment is effective for) and how many people get better to decide if a new treatment is effective.
When it comes to family planning, using even mild therapies for a long period of time can be an issue.
Because many of our therapies only work while they are being given, aspects of family planning often need to be considered when choosing a therapy. This includes fertility (the ability or potential to become pregnant or get someone pregnant), conception (the actual process of getting pregnant and getting someone pregnant), pregnancy, and breastfeeding after pregnancy. These aspects should be considered if a patient or their partner wants to have a baby soon or even in the distant future.
Cutaneous Lymphoma: Effect of Treatment on Reproductive Health and Implications for Patient Education
Most therapies are not studied in pregnant women. Much of our knowledge comes from studies in animals, understanding how drugs work, or a few cases where patients conceived or became pregnant while on one of these therapies. As there is limited information and each patient’s treatment needs are unique, please reference the Cutaneous Lymphoma: Effect of Treatment on Reproductive Health and Implications for Patient Education* chart available for download. The chart is for general information to start a discussion with your treating physician and not as a specific recommendation for your care.