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Follow up for pancreatic cancer

Men and women discussing pancreatic cancer

This page is about follow up appointments after your treatment for pancreatic cancer. You can find the following information

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

What happens during check ups?

After your treatment has finished, your doctor will want you to have regular check ups. Your doctor may examine you and ask how you are feeling and whether you have had any symptoms or are worried about anything.

You may also have blood tests, 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 specialist nurse as soon as possible. You don’t have to wait until your next appointment.

Feeling worried about follow up appointments

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.

It is quite common now for people to have counselling after cancer treatment. To find out more 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 pancreatic cancer section.

 

 

What happens at follow up appointments

After your treatment has finished, your doctor will want you to have regular check ups. These may include

You will not have all these tests at every visit to your specialist. But your doctor will probably examine you and ask how you are feeling, and whether you have had any symptoms or are worried about anything. You are also likely to have some blood tests at each appointment. One blood test you may have is for CA19-9. This is a chemical which is used as a tumour marker, which means that it can be a sign that a cancer is active. If you have a high level of CA19-9, this could mean that your pancreatic cancer has come back.

 

How often you will need to have follow up appointments

At first your check ups will be more regular. If you have had surgery to remove your cancer, you will probably be seen about 6 weeks later. But if all is well, your appointments will become less frequent. You may only need to attend the clinic every 3 to 6 months. If you are worried or notice any new symptoms between appointments you must let your doctor or specialist nurse know as soon as possible. You don't have to wait until the next appointment.

 

Feeling worried about follow up appointments

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. If you are able to share your worries, they may not seem quite so bad. It is quite common now for people to have counselling after cancer treatment. To find out more about counselling, look in the coping with cancer section.

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Updated: 4 June 2014