Lymphoma Survivors May Not Get All Recommended Follow-Up Care

FRIDAY, Jan. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Some teen and young adult survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma do not receive all the recommended follow-up care, a new study finds.

The study included 354 survivors in California who were diagnosed between ages 15 and 39, and followed for an average of six years.

Within the first year, 52 percent of the survivors did not receive all recommended care outlined in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines.

But within five years after completing treatment, 96 percent of the survivors had recommended visits (at least one a year) with an oncologist and 70 percent had recommended laboratory testing, according the study authors.

The study is scheduled for presentation Friday at an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in San Francisco. The findings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, is one of the leading cancer diagnoses for teens and young adults.

“Patients treated for Hodgkin lymphoma are at high risk for recurrence and relapse, as well as serious long-term and late effects,” study lead author Erin Hahn, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, said in an ASCO news release.

“We need a systematic way to deliver post-treatment care, including screening for late effects of treatment. Studies like this will help inform the design of survivorship care programs that address all our patients’ needs,” Hahn added.

Dr. Merry-Jennifer Markham, an ASCO spokeswoman, said that “while it’s great news that so many young adult survivors are receiving critical aspects of their post-treatment care, this study helps us understand where there is more work to be done.”

And, Markham explained, “Survivorship care is especially important for adolescents and young adults, who still have long lives ahead of them after completing treatment. This study highlights that, despite the existence of post-treatment guidelines for this population of survivors, there are opportunities for improvement to increase adherence and improve survivorship outcomes.”

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about Hodgkin lymphoma.