Castleman Disease

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Treating Castleman Disease TOPICS


This information represents the views of the doctors and nurses serving on the American Cancer Society's Cancer Information Database Editorial Board. These views are based on their interpretation of studies published in medical journals, as well as their own professional experience.
The treatment information in this document is not official policy of the Society and is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.
Your doctor may have reasons for suggesting a treatment plan different from these general treatment options. Don't hesitate to ask him or her questions about your treatment options.

General treatment information

Once Castleman disease (CD) has been diagnosed, your health care team will discuss treatment options with you. Several different types of treatment can be used for CD. The treatment options depend on the whether the CD is unicentric or multicentric, as well as other factors. Of course, no two patients are exactly alike, and treatment is often tailored to each patient's situation.

Based on your treatment options, you may have different types of doctors on your treatment team. These doctors may include:

  • A surgeon
  • A hematologist: a doctor who treats disorders of the blood and lymph system, including CD.
  • A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer and similar diseases with medicines.
  • A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer and similar diseases with radiation therapy.

Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including nurse practitioners, nurses, nutrition specialists, social workers, and other health professionals.

It is important to discuss all of your treatment options as well as their possible side effects with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. In choosing a treatment plan, consider your health and the type of CD. Be sure that you understand all the risks and side effects of the various treatments before making a decision.

CD is a rare disease, so not many doctors have much experience in treating it. If time permits, it is often a good idea to seek a second opinion. Getting a second opinion can give you more information and help you feel confident about the treatment plan that you choose. Your doctor should be willing to help you find another cancer doctor who can give you a second opinion.

The next few sections describe the types of treatment used for Castleman disease. This is followed by a discussion of the typical treatment options based on the type of CD, as well as other factors when these are important.

Last Medical Review: 06/11/2012
Last Revised: 06/11/2012