Find out about follow up appointments and tests after treatment for vaginal cancer.
Why you have follow up appointments
You have follow up appointments every few months to check how you are and see whether you have any problems or worries. The appointments also give you the chance to raise any concerns you have about your progress.
Your doctor or nurse examines you at each appointment. They ask how you are feeling, whether you have had any symptoms or side effects and if you are worried about anything.
You might also have tests at some visits.
Tests might include:
- blood tests
- ultrasound scan
- CT scan
How often you have check ups
Your first follow up appointment will be within 6 weeks of completing treatment. Your check ups will continue for some years after your treatment. Ongoing follow up might be:
- 3 to 4 monthly in the 1st year
- 6 monthly for 2 years
- yearly for 3 years
Some hospitals see patients less often, if the outcome of their treatment is likely to be good. Some are also arranging for specialist nurses to follow up patients with phone calls, to save them having to come to the hospital unnecessarily.
You might go for check ups at the surgical outpatients after surgery. You go to the cancer clinic if you have had chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The surgeon and the oncologist might share your follow up. This means you see the surgeon sometimes and the oncologist at other times.
Contact your doctor or specialist nurse if you have any concerns. You should also contact them if you notice any new symptoms between appointments. You don’t have to wait until your next visit.
If you are worried
Many people find their check ups quite worrying. A hospital appointment can bring back any anxiety you had about your cancer.
It can help to tell someone close to you how you’re feeling. Sharing your worries can mean they don’t seem so overwhelming. Many people find it helpful to have counselling after cancer treatment.