Find out about follow up appointments and tests after treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).
Why you have follow up appointments
You have follow up appointments every few months to check how you are and see whether you have any problems or worries. The appointments also give you the chance to raise any concerns you have about your progress.
Your doctor will examine you and take a blood test at each appointment. You might also have a bone marrow test. Your doctor will ask how you are feeling and make sure you don’t have any new symptoms. They will also ask about any side effects you may have from your treatment.
Let your doctor or nurse know straight away if you are worried, or notice any new symptoms between appointments. You don't have to wait until the next appointment. Your doctor would rather know if there is something worrying you.
Your doctor or nurse should give you some guidance about which symptoms to look out for if you are on treatment. They will tell you who to contact if you have any problems or worries.
How often you have check ups
Your check ups will continue for several years. You see your doctor every month while you are having maintenance treatment.
A typical follow up schedule after this would be:
- monthly for 3 months
- then 2 monthly for 6 months
- 3 monthly for up to 3 years after your treatment
Coping with worry
Many people worry about going for their check ups. If you are well and getting on with your life, it can bring back all the worry about your leukaemia. You may find it helpful to tell someone close to you how you feel. Sharing your concerns can help. It is common for people to have counselling after cancer treatment.
Don’t be surprised though if you find it quite reassuring to go back for check ups. Acute leukaemia treatment is tough. You are often in hospital for months. Being away from the hospital can make you feel quite nervous at first. So it can be reassuring to go back and make sure everything is still OK.