At the end of your treatment, you will have a meeting with your lymphoma doctor or specialist nurse. They will explain:
- how often you will have follow-up appointments
- possible signs of the lymphoma returning that you should be aware of
- any possible late effects of treatment.
Your cancer doctor or nurse may give you and your GP a letter with this information and a list of the treatments you have had. This is called a treatment summary.
To begin with, your follow-up appointments may be every 3 months or so. After the first 2 years, you may have fewer appointments or you may be discharged. This depends on the type of lymphoma you had. Your cancer doctor or specialist nurse will explain what to expect.
Your doctor may examine you, check your weight and take blood tests. You will not usually have scans, unless you develop symptoms that need to be checked. Your doctor will want to know how you are feeling. They will also want to check that you are recovering from any side effects. Appointments are a good time for you to talk to your doctor or nurse about any concerns you have.
Many people find they get anxious for a while before a check-up. This is natural. It can help to get support from family or friends.
Sometimes lymphoma can come back. This is called a relapse or recurrence. If lymphoma comes back, it is usually discovered when symptoms develop. Your lymphoma doctor or specialist nurse will tell you what to be aware of.
Possible signs and symptoms include:
- new lumps or swellings
- heavy drenching sweats at night
- unexplained high temperatures over 38°C (100.4°F)
- unexplained weight loss
- extreme tiredness
- general itching or a rash that does not go away
- a cough or breathlessness that does not get better
- any other new symptoms that are worrying you.
If you have any symptoms, it is important to have them checked. Contact your lymphoma doctor or specialist nurse for advice. They can arrange for you to have an earlier appointment if needed. Lymphoma that comes back can often be treated again. We have more information about treating lymphoma that has come back for Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editors, Dr Anne Parker, Consultant Haematologist; and Professor Rajnish Gupta, Macmillan Consultant Medical Oncologist.
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