Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma: Long-term Survivorship

Once treatment is completed and CLL/SLL is in remissionThe absence of disease. Remission does not necessarily indicate that a person is cured. Patients may have complete or partial remission., physicians will continue to monitor the health and status of each patient during follow-up care. Since CLL/SLL is generally characterized by multiple disease relapses after responses to a variety of treatments, patients in remission should have regular visits with a physician who is familiar with their medical history and the treatments they have received. Medical tests (such as blood tests and computed tomography [CT] scans) may be required at various times during remission to evaluate the need for additional treatment.

Some treatments can cause long-term effectsThis term defines toxicities that happen during cancer treatment and continue for months or several years. or late effectsEffects of treatment that become apparent only after treatment has ended and may arise many months, years, or even decades after treatment is completed. Cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, and secondary cancers are examples of late effects., which can vary based on duration and frequency of treatments, age, gender, and the overall health of each patient at the time of treatment. A physician will check for these effects during follow-up care.

Patients and their caregivers are encouraged to keep copies of all medical records and test results as well as information on the types, amounts, and duration of all treatments received. This documentation will be important for keeping track of any effects resulting from treatment or potential disease recurrences.

To learn more, download the Lymphoma Survivorship Fact Sheet