Follow-up care is important with both aggressive and indolent forms of NHL because if the disease recurs, curative options are still available for many people. Follow-up care needs to be individualized and should be based on several factors, including how the disease initially manifested. Patients who are in remission should continue to be monitored by clinical assessment as determined by their doctor. In the past, computed tomography (CT) scans or other diagnostic imaging were done routinely in an attempt to detect relapse. However, there is an increasing awareness that too many scans may be harmful, and that CT scans performed in otherwise asymptomatic patients have a relatively low chance of finding recurrent lymphoma. The frequency of clinical visits, laboratory tests, and CT scans or other imaging should be discussed with the treating doctor.
Periodic assessment of the patient’s state of health, blood cell counts and, if indicated, bone marrow, is important. Over time, the interval between assessments may be lengthened, but assessments should be continued indefinitely for most patients.
Click here for information about follow-up care, including what to expect, long-term and late effects of treatment, survivorship clinics, and other resources such as The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) treatment guidelines.
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s free booklet, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.