First, I want to wish Sen. Thompson all the best with his treatment. From what it sounds like, it’s a small form of lymphoma, but even still, it’s cancer, and it should be treated with all seriousness.
Now, as for lymphoma, there’s two major types: Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins.
Hodgkin’s Disease is a type of lymphoma that has cancerous cells (B-Cell lymphocytes, or white blood cells) and it also has mutant cells known as Reed-Sternberg cells, which are large cells with multi-nuclei or a bi-lobed nucleus. Hodgkin’s survivability has increased with new treatments. Hodgkin’s also affects less people than Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. (It should be mentioned that there are at least 29 other lymphomas which are covered under Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so the smaller number of Hodkin’s cases is about statistically similar to that of any other type of lymphoma.)
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) can either be indolent or aggressive. Aggressive (fast-growing) lymphomas are bad news and are treated in a similar fashion to other cancers. Lymphatic cancers are a high-risk group for metastasizing due to their connection to the rest of the body. Early diagnosis helps in treatment.
Indolent NHL’s, such as Sen. Thompson’s, are slow growing. Because their rate of growth is retarded, traditional treatments do not have an impact on them. However, new immunotherapies have shown success in battling the indolent NHLs, and this treatment is probably what Sen. Thompson is receiving. The good news is that indolent NHL isn’t a death sentence.
What we can expect from a President with NHL? Frequent doctor’s visits, courses of immunotherapies, and not much else. I don’t even think this would limit his travel. The biggest impact this has is his choice of a running mate who also has to be presidential, just in case Thompson leaves office for any reason.
You can find more information on lymphomas here.