Leukemia - Chronic Lymphocytic - CLL: After Treatment

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 07/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about your medical care after treatment is finished and why this follow-up care is important. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

After treatment for CLL ends, talk with your doctor about developing a follow-up care plan. This plan may include regular physical examinations and/or medical tests to monitor your recovery for the coming months and years. ASCO offers cancer treatment summary forms to help keep track of the cancer treatment you received and develop a survivorship care plan once treatment is completed.

People should receive regular follow-up examinations for several years to watch for any signs of recurrence or late effects, which are side effects that occur years after treatment. People with CLL also have a higher risk of developing other cancers, particularly lung, colon, or skin cancers, and they should tell their doctors if they notice new symptoms or worsening skin problems or moles. The chemotherapy drugs used to treat CLL may damage the DNA in normal bone marrow cells and cause a different type of leukemia several years later; this is called therapy-related myeloid leukemia.

People recovering from CLL are encouraged to follow established guidelines for good health, such as maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating a balanced diet, bringing immunizations up to date, especially the annual flu shot and periodic pneumonia vaccines, and having recommended cancer screening tests. Talk with your doctor to develop a plan that is best for your needs. Moderate physical activity can help rebuild your strength and energy level. Your doctor can help you create an appropriate exercise plan based upon your needs, physical abilities, and fitness level. Learn more about the next steps to take in survivorship, including making positive lifestyle changes.

The next section offers a list of questions you may want to ask. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Questions to Ask the Doctor, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.