If you have been treated for lymphoma, are in complete remission and have no symptoms, lymphoma experts say there is no reason to have routinely scheduled computed tomography (CT) scan or positron-emission tomography (PET) scans for check-ups.
The tests could expose patients to low-dose radiation from the medical imaging. Patients might be at risk for other types of cancer including lung or breast cancer and the unnecessary testing drives up health care costs.
However, every year, excessive medical imaging is ordered by physicians and many times patients request the scan. Dr. Julie Vose, oncologist and lymphoma expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center recently published recommendations in a letter to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Vose says there are things patients need to ask their physician before agreeing to a scan. She says it is important to ask the physician if the can is an absolute necessity.
Normally, lymphoma patients receive scans at diagnosis, during their treatment and at the end of their treatment. If the patient has no signs of lymphoma after therapy is completed, a standard of care is to carefully examine the patient and talk to them about symptoms.