Follow-up Care for Hodgkin Disease
Your doctor will want to watch you closely for some time after you finish treatment. You may need to get physical exams, blood tests, and imaging tests such as X-rays and/or CT scans for at least several years to look for possible signs of cancer recurrence.
Your doctor will also want to monitor you for possible long-term side effects from treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. While these are not common, they can be significant. For these reasons, you’ll need to make sure you keep your follow-up appointments with your doctor. Here are some of the things he or she will be checking you for:
How well your thyroid gland is working
How strong your heart is (a weakened heart muscle may cause shortness of breath, fluid buildup in the body, and other problems)
Signs of a new cancer. People who have had Hodgkin disease have an increased risk of developing a second type of cancer, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma or leukemia, several years after the Hodgkin disease has been successfully treated.
Infections. People who have been treated for Hodgkin disease often have immune system problems that put them at higher risk for infection.
Fertility issues. Treatment for Hodgkin disease, especially at a young age, may affect your ability to have children.