Follow-Up Care is Crucial for BMT Patients

Care doesn't stop when treatment ends
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 1:11pm

Don't skip those follow-up visits. The Annual Blood & Marrow Long-Term Survivorship Clinic helps patients stay healthy and maintain good quality of life after treatment. Long-term issues are a concern for all BMT patients and our goal is to diminish complications and offer continued support throughout survivorship.

With consistent follow-up care, we can track a patient’s progress, predict potential problems, and prevent certain ailments associated with a transplant. In addition, we recommend support services to manage general health.

Some of the potential complications following a bone or marrow transplant include:

  • Osteopenia & osteoporosis
  • Immune reconstitution 
  • Cancer recurrence
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes

We take a variety of steps in long-term care to help patients overcome health issues and obstacles that inhibit daily life. Some of these steps include:

  • Routine health-maintenance screening (e.g., mammograms) that may be necessary due to therapy
  • Immunizations
  • Monitoring for premature osteoporosis (bone weakness)
  • Screening for dental problems that can develop after a transplant
  • Screening for cancer recurrence
  • Cardiac and pulmonary tests to identify heart and lung problems
  • Specialty referrals as needed for issues such as nutrition and physical therapy

We recommend follow-up visits every 1-2 years after a transplant to ensure early detection of any issue. It is extremely important to maintain consistent follow-up care to catch any recurrence of cancer or new diseases. As we continue to track problems and side effects associated with transplants, we can easily recognize trends and further assist patients in the future. Currently, the clinic is open on Fridays and only available for patients who’ve had a blood or marrow transplant either at Roswell Park or another institute. In the future, we hope to expand our services to all cancer survivors.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Annual BMT Clinic at 716-845-1444.