Follow up for bile duct cancer | Cancer Research UK
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Follow up for bile duct cancer

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This page is about follow up appointments after your treatment for bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma). You can find the following information

 

A quick guide to what’s on this page

After your treatment has finished, you will have regular check ups. At these appointments your doctor may examine you and ask how you feel. They will also ask whether you have had any symptoms or are worried about anything.

At some visits, you may have blood tests, X-rays, CT scans or ultrasound scans. You will not have all these tests at every visit to your specialist.

If you are worried or notice any new symptoms between appointments, tell your doctor or nurse as soon as possible. You don’t have to wait until your next appointment.

Many people find their check ups quite worrying. If you are feeling well and getting on with life, a hospital appointment can bring all the worry about your cancer back to you. You may find it helpful to tell someone close to you how you are feeling.

Many people find it helpful to have counselling after cancer treatment. To find out about counselling, look in the coping with cancer section.
 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the treating bile duct cancer section.

 

 

What happens at a follow up appointment

After your treatment has finished, you will have regular check ups. Depending on the type of bile duct cancer you had and the type of treatment, your check ups may include

  • A physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • CT scan      

You won’t have these tests at every visit but your doctor will carry out a physical examination at each appointment. Your doctor will ask you

  • How you are feeling
  • If you have had any new symptoms, including swollen lymph glands
  • If you are worried about anything

How often you have scans will depend on your individual needs.

 

How often you have check ups

At first your check ups will be quite regular. If you had the cancer removed with surgery, you will probably see your surgeon about 6 weeks later. But if all is well, your appointments won’t be as often. You may only need to go to the clinic every 3 months or so.

If you are worried or notice any new symptoms between appointments you must tell your doctor or clinical nurse specialist as soon as possible. You can ring them – you don't have to wait until your next appointment.

 

Worrying about check ups

Many people worry about going for their check ups. If you are well and getting on with your life it can bring back all the worry about your cancer. You may find it helpful to tell someone close to you about how you are feeling. Sharing your concerns can make them seem less overwhelming.

It is quite common nowadays for people to have counselling after cancer treatment. To find out about counselling, look in the coping with cancer section.

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Updated: 26 February 2015