New Clinic Helps Lymphoma Survivors Stay Healthy

People are living longer lives after treatment for lymphoma. But the disease can cause lasting health problems — some of which may not show up until many years later. MSK's Lymphoma Survivorship Clinic monitors survivors' health.

People are living longer lives after treatment for lymphoma. But the disease can cause lasting health problems — some of which may not show up until many years later. MSK's Lymphoma Survivorship Clinic monitors survivors' health.

Matthew J. Matasar, MD

Hematologic oncologist Mathew Matasar cares for lymphoma survivors.

Thanks to major advances in the understanding and treatment of lymphoma — one of the nation’s most commonly diagnosed cancers — more people than ever are enjoying productive lives for years and even decades after being declared free of the disease. But doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering and elsewhere have also found that over the course of time, many of these individuals develop complications from the treatment they received.

Even with improvements in approaches to radiation and chemotherapy, people may experience permanent damage that increases the risk for heart disease, skin cancer, lung conditions, and other illnesses.  

 “Since we know that many of our patients may experience long-term problems, we decided to initiate a program that could help quickly identify and address them,” explains hematologic oncologist Mathew Matasar. “And through clinical trials and other research, we’re looking for even more ways to keep our survivors healthy.” 

Dedicated to Long-Term Survivors

Begun in 2014 and housed within the Lymphoma Service at MSK’s 64th Street Outpatient Center, the Lymphoma Survivorship Clinic welcomes MSK survivors of all ages, as well as people initially treated for the disease at other institutions. Unlike MSK’s Adult Long-Term Follow-Up Program (ALTFU) tailored to survivors of a range childhood (and some young adult) cancers, the clinic’s sole focus is survivors of lymphoma. The clinic starts caring for people as soon as three years after they end treatment.    

Depending on such factors as the types of treatments survivors received and their general health when they were diagnosed with lymphoma, Dr. Matasar and two physician assistants in the clinic monitor survivors for:
  • heart disease
  • the development of second cancers such as breast, lung, and skin cancer and leukemia
  • thinking and memory problems (commonly known as “chemobrain”)
  • lung health
  • bone health
  • stroke
  • problems with teeth and gums
  • reduced thyroid function
  • dry eyes, cataracts, and other eye issues
  • emotional and psychological health
Lymphoma Survivorship Clinic Appointments

Call 212-639-5324 to schedule a visit with us.

And since the clinic is embedded in a comprehensive cancer center, “we’re prepared not only to give people the latest in care, screening, and surveillance, but also to easily send them to our other MSK experts if needed — people at the top of their field in survivorship issues such as heart, lung, and reproductive health,” explains Dr. Matasar.

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Evidence-Based Expertise

As part of MSK’s larger program in cancer research and survivorship, the clinic is also able to offer access to clinical trials and other research that can help people facing the late effects of lymphoma treatment.   

Current investigations are asking such questions as:

It’s high time that lymphoma survivors get a specialized clinic of their own such as this, explains Dr. Matasar. “In part because the clinic is right here, embedded in our Lymphoma Service, we can deliver just the kind of care these patients need.”

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My husband is a N H L survivor for much over 12 years. He was discharged by his doctor, Dr. David Strauss, successfully cured! We never were informed about this follow up program! He has some complications with balance and it has been suggested that this was caused by the chemo? Any way he can be assessed at this time?

John, thank you for reaching out. We suggest you call the survivorship clinic at 212-639-5324 to see whether you can schedule a visit for assessment.

My Son was diagnosed with NHL in Feb. 2012. Chemo, radiation, stem-cell transplant. Late 2013, he was diagnosed with Stage 3B Melanoma. Oh how I wish his oncologist had not told him it is nothing to worry about when my Son showed him an area of concern on his leg. Hence, 3B Melanoma. All oncologists should be aware of second cancers. It would have saved my Son a lot of suffering. He is now taking interferon for one year.

Mary, we’re sorry that your son is going through this. Thank you for sharing your story.

Does this clinic include both Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma survivors?

The clinic is for survivors of all lymphomas, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin. Thank you for your comment.

Congratulations for your work! I write from Italy. I was affected by Nhl mantle cell in sept 2014 and I went through chemo and stem-cell transplant (april 2015) actually involded in follow-up exam (bone biopsy, citogenetic, PET). How can you help me in my next step?

Thank you for reaching out. If you are interested in coming to Memorial Sloan­ Kettering or having records reviewed, you can contact our International Center by calling 1­-212-­639­-4900 or going to­care/international­patients. The email address is [email protected].


Dear Harry, yes, our Lymphoma Survivorship Clinic is for people who have been treated here at MSK. Thank you for reaching out to us.

I went through Radiation only for HL treatment in 1976 through a military facility due to my husband being in the military. I am no longer eligible to go to that facility. I do have insurance. I recently heard that you are letting survivors consult with you. I have not found a late effects clinic in Arizona. I now have heart, lung, memory and other problems from radiation. I had breast cancer and chemo in 1998. Please advise.

Dear Dorothy, we’re sorry to hear you’re having these problems after your treatment. We recommend that you ask your doctor for a referral to a survivorship program. Many comprehensive cancer centers have them, if you are not able to come to MSK. You can find a list of National Cancer Institute-designated centers at Best wishes to you, and thank you for your comment.

I was treated at MSK in 2001 for stage 4 hodgkins disease. In October 2001 I was diagnosed with refractory hodgkins. I met Dr Moskowitz and had a stem cell transplant in March of 2002. I had disease in my spine and was given a poor prognosis even with transplant. I have been cancer free since (15 years out)and even have a very healthy son born 5 years post transplant.I have suffered though many late term effects. Including chf and stroke in 2011 at the age of 33, lung scaring and spontaneous partial lung collapses as well as dental issues that resulted in dental implants. I am a woman of faith and Im thankful to the Lord for His healing and the life that I have. There are issues with coordinating medical issues that arise, I think this clinic is a great idea.

Dear Marguerite, thank you for sharing your story. Best wishes to you.