A standard follow-up schedule after a stem cell transplant would not work for everyone with leukemia. There will be frequent checkups after discharge. Daily assessment and treatment may be needed until:
For the first 3 months after leaving the hospital, the person is usually assessed at least once or twice a week.
Until blood cell counts return to normal, the recipient is encouraged to:
After 3 months, the doctor will decide how often follow-up needs to be done. If there are no serious problems, follow-up may be done less frequently, such as every 3–6 months.
Follow-up is done to assess:
If there are no problems or complications, follow-up visits will happen once a year with the family doctor or hematologisthematologistThe study and treatment of blood, blood-forming tissues or organs and blood disorders.. Sometimes a return visit to the transplant centre may be needed.
Checkups can include:
One hundred days after the transplant (Day 100) is an important milestone for people who have had a stem cell transplant. They may undergo restaging tests to determine the status of the disease and its response to treatment.
Recovery depends on the person's physical condition before the transplant and the side effects they experienced. Many people will not have any major problems after leaving the hospital, but recovery occurs gradually. Discuss with the doctor about when to return to school or work, resuming exercise, and sexual activity.
By the end of the first year, the immune system will have returned to normal and the bone marrow will be producing blood cells normally again. It may take longer for some people to recover, especially if they are on immune-suppressing drugs. To help restore the immune system, transplant recipients should talk to their doctor about being vaccinated again 1–2 years after the transplant.
A clinical trial led by the Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials group found that men with prostate cancer who are treated with intermittent courses of hormone therapy live as long as those receiving continuous therapy.