Follow up for follicular lymphoma

Last Modified: June 11, 2009

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I have follicular lymphoma, stage 2, in my abdomen with no symptoms. What is the protocol for follow up cat scan tests? I am scheduled for CT tests every 3 mo of my chest/abdomen/pelvis. I am concerned about the radiation risk.

Answer

Babis (Charalambos) Andreadis, MD, MSCE, Assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco and a member of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF, responds:

There is no formal protocol for follow-up. Different centers follow different schedules, but this sounds appropriate. It is the physician’s responsibility to use CT scans as needed and after establishing a tempo of disease progression to increase the time intervals between scans. When used responsibly, the scans have a radiation risk that is small compared to the risk of missing disease progression.

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