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Jun 5, 2019

Lymphoma survivorship: Follow-up appointments & long-term planning

By Justin McClanahan, @JustinMcClanahan

6_3_19 Thompson Editorial

What happens after a patient has undergone and finished treatment for lymphoma? Mayo Clinic Hematologist, Carrie A. Thompson, M.D., discusses lymphoma survivorship, post-treatment appointments, and creating a long-term plan for patients.

After treatment cycles have finished, patients meet with an advance practice provider to discuss how things have gone for them over the past cycles of treatment. The provider and patient will discuss:

  • What unmet needs there may be
  • Plans for the future, including:
    • Symptoms to watch for
    • Who to call, and when
    • What to expect in follow-up visits
  • Survey questionnaire to determine how treatment has affected the patient both physically, socially and psychologically

“Sometimes in the business of chemotherapy and going through treatment, issues such as how treatment affects day-to-day routines like work and your social well-being get pushed to the side," says Dr. Thompson. "This is a nice time to stop and reflect on how cancer has affected a patient and what we can do about it.”

During the appointments, the provider and patient create what is a called a survivorship care plan – a brief document summarizing the patient’s diagnosis and specific treatments. The document serves as a permanent record the patient can take with them for treatment down road if necessary. Mayo Clinic’s survivorship appointment and care plan addresses the patient as a whole person and how they can best remain healthy in the long-term.

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