Do I need to see my cancer doctor after my non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment ends?

Yes. Your cancer doctor usually creates a schedule of follow-up exams after your treatment ends. These appointments give your doctor a chance to assess your recovery and look for signs that your lymphoma has returned.

What tests you need depends on the specifics of your cancer, your treatment, and any signs and symptoms you're experiencing. Your follow-up appointments may include:

  • Review of your signs and symptoms if any have continued or started since your last visit.
  • Physical exam to check out your general health and to look for signs of cancer recurrence, such as enlarged lymph nodes.
  • Blood tests to measure your blood cell counts and monitor your liver and kidney health.
  • Imaging tests such as a CT scan to look for cancer recurrence.
  • Tests to screen for additional cancers such as a skin exam to look for signs of skin cancer, and other tests as appropriate, such as breast cancer screening or colon cancer screening.

Your follow-up exam schedule depends on your particular situation, but in general you can expect appointments three or four times a year for the first few years and then once or twice a year after that.

About five years after your treatment ends, you may no longer need to see a cancer doctor regularly. You may choose to have routine appointments with your family doctor or a primary care provider.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Aug. 02, 2018 See more Expert Answers