You usually 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 or nurse examines you at each appointment. They ask how you are feeling, whether you have had any symptoms or side effects, and if you are worried about anything.
You might also have tests at some visits.
If you do have any new symptoms or any ongoing effects from your lymphoma treatment, you might have:
- CT scans
- PET-CT scans
- blood tests
How often you have check ups
Your check ups will continue for several years. At first they will be every 3 months. Then they will be every 6 months until the 4th year. After that they will be once a year.
How often and how long you need to go for follow up appointments depends on the type of Hodgkin lymphoma you had and the treatment you have had.
Some people need to have check ups for more than 4 years due to the small risk of getting another cancer after Hodgkin lymphoma treatment.
You might have regular breast screening if you had radiotherapy to your chest before the age of 40.
Your doctor will monitor your thyroid function with blood tests if you have had radiotherapy to the neck area. They will monitor your testosterone or oestrogen levels if you are young and had high dose chemotherapy.
Worried about your check up
Many people find their check ups quite worrying. A hospital appointment can bring back any anxiety you had about your cancer.
It can help to tell someone close to you how you’re feeling. Sharing your worries can mean they don’t seem so overwhelming. Many people find it helpful to have counselling after cancer treatment.