What to Know About Follow-up Appointments After Treatment for Lymphoma
Many side effects of treatment end once the treatment ends. But others may develop over time. Or they may be a sign of more serious changes from treatment. For example, chemotherapy can affect organs, such as kidneys or lungs. Also, when lymphoma cells break down during treatment, they release their contents into the bloodstream. This can cause tumor lysis syndrome, which can affect your kidneys, heart, and nervous system. If you have a stem cell transplant, the immune system cells from a donor attack your lymphoma cells. They can also attack your normal cells, causing a variety of side effects. And, in rare cases, you may develop another type of cancer as a later effect of the treatment.
It is also very important to look for any signs that the lymphoma may have come back. For these reasons, you need to tell your health care team about your symptoms and to keep your follow-up appointments. That way, your doctor or nurse can more closely check your condition, prevent side effects, or reduce their seriousness. During follow-up visits, your doctor may perform a physical examination and obtain blood counts to check the status of the lymphoma. You may need a bone marrow test or other tests as well. How often you need these visits will depend on the type of lymphoma and whether you are receiving treatment, are in remission, or have relapsed.