Leukemia - Chronic T-Cell Lymphocytic: After Treatment

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 06/2014

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 T-cell leukemia ends, talk with your doctor about developing a follow-up care plan. This plan may include regular physical examinations, blood tests, bone marrow biopsies, and possibly scans or other imaging 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.

Several long-term side effects from leukemia treatment may occur:

  • Lung damage from certain drugs or radiation therapy to the chest.
  • A weakened heart muscle from higher doses of doxorubicin or radiation therapy to the chest.
  • Infertility (inability to have a child) or early menopause from high-dose cyclophosphamide or other chemotherapy.
  • Higher risk of infection from chemotherapy, specifically with alemtuzumab, even after treatment ends.
  • A secondary leukemia or other secondary cancer that develops because of the treatment for the first type of cancer. This is more common from chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

People recovering from T-cell leukemia are encouraged to follow established guidelines for good health, such as maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating a balanced diet, and having recommended cancer screening tests. People experiencing a long-term remission are encouraged to follow cancer screening recommendations for the general population to watch for other types of cancer. 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.