You usually have follow up appointments every few months after treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
The team looking after you 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.
How often you have appointments
How often you need follow up appointments depends on your type of NHL and what treatment you had.
You will generally be seen every 2 to 3 months when you first finish treatment. As time goes by and if all is well, you will go to outpatient clinics less and less often. Your appointments may only be once a year once you are in long term remission.
Where you have them
You go to the cancer clinic if you have had chemotherapy or radiotherapy and see your lymphoma specialist.
You might go for check ups at the surgical outpatients department of the hospital if you have had surgery. But most of your follow up appointments will be with your lymphoma specialist.
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 will probably have blood tests at each appointment.
You might have any of the following tests if you develop any new symptoms:
- CT scans
- ultrasound scans
- MRI scans
- PET scans
Between your appointments
Let your doctor or nurse specialist know straight away if you are worried or notice any new symptoms between appointments. You don't have to wait until your next appointment. They would rather know if there is something worrying you.
If you are worried
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.