After your treatment has finished, you usually have follow up appointments every few months to check how you are. This is to make sure that you are recovering well, and to check whether you have any side effects.
The appointments also give you the opportunity to raise any concerns you have about your progress.
Where you go for your follow up
You usually go to the cancer clinic for follow up. However due to the coronavirus pandemic many hospital appointments may have changed. You might have a video or telephone appointment instead of a face-to-face appointment.
Your healthcare team will let you know about your follow up appointment and what to expect.
Your doctor or nurse examines your eye 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 can also ask questions, it often helps to write these down to take with you.
Your check ups may include:
- eye examinations
- blood tests
- x-rays or scans, such as ultrasound of your eye or MRI scans
- lumbar puncture (only for lymphoma of the eye)
You will not have all of these tests at every visit to your specialist.
If your doctor thinks that there is a risk of your eye melanoma spreading to another part of your body, you may have regular ultrasound scans of your abdomen. If you have any new symptoms, you might have some tests to look into this.
How often will I have follow up?
At first, your check ups are quite often. For example, some people might have 3 monthly appointments for the first year. If you stay well, they will gradually become less frequent.
Some side effects for radiotherapy to the eye can take years to develop. If you had radiotherapy you may need regular eye examinations.
Many people find their check ups quite worrying. 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 nowadays for people to have counselling after cancer treatment.