Follow up after treatment for ALL

Once your treatment is completed, you’ll have regular check-ups. These will continue for several years. Many people find that they get very anxious before the appointments. This is natural. It may help to get support from family, friends or an organisation during this time.

If you have any problems, or notice any new symptoms between appointments, let your hospital doctor know as soon as possible.

Tests

Samples of blood will be taken regularly throughout your follow-up to check your general health and the number of normal cells in the blood. You will also have bone marrow biopsies taken to check that no leukaemia cells have returned.

Your doctor will examine you and ask you about how you have been feeling and any side effects you may still be experiencing. Occasionally you may need other tests such as X-rays.

What if the ALL comes back?

ALL comes back after a period of remission in about half of adults. If this happens, further treatment can be given. For some people, the chemotherapy drugs used during the induction phase may be repeated. However, for others, the leukaemia may be resistant to these drugs, so different drugs or new combinations of drugs may be needed. Treatment with high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell support may also be recommended if it has not been given before. With further treatment a second remission may be possible.

Sometimes treatment will only be able to control the leukaemia. In this case the aim of treatment will be to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Back to Beginning to recover

Lifestyle and well-being

Looking after yourself and doing some physical activity can be an important part of your recovery.