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Follow up

You have regular check up appointments after treatment for mesothelioma. This is called follow up.

You usually 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.

What happens

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 may include:

  • blood tests
  • CT scans
  • x-rays

You won't have all these tests every time you go to the hospital. But your doctor or nurse might examine you at each appointment. You might also have a routine x-ray. Your doctor or nurse will ask how you are feeling and whether you have any new symptoms. You might be offered a scan if there is a symptom that you or the doctor are worried about.

After surgery

Usually you see the surgeon:

  • after about 4 to 6 weeks, and then
  • every 3 months if all is well

After chemotherapy or radiotherapy

You have check up appointments every 2 months or so at first. You might see your doctor or a specialist nurse.

If all is well, the time between your appointments gradually gets longer.

Between appointments

Tell your doctor or specialist nurse if you have any new symptoms or concerns. You don't have to wait until the next appointment. Your doctor or nurse would rather know if something is worrying you.

It can help to tell someone close to you how you’re feeling. Many people also find counselling helpful after cancer treatment.

Patient led follow up

Some hospitals are trying out a new way of running their check ups. This system leaves it to you to take the lead in arranging to see your doctor or specialist nurse.

When you first finish treatment, your hospital arranges your appointments. But once your doctors are happy with your progress you can arrange them yourself. You can do this as often as you feel you need to.

You might want to make an appointment if you:

  • have noticed a change in your body that worries you
  • feel it is time you had a check up, even though you don't have any particular worries

In some situations, your specialist will ask you to book in for a particular test every so often.

This system means you can organise appointments to suit your own health needs. It also means that clinics aren’t full of people who might not need to see their doctor. This helps the hospital to keep waiting times short, so you can get an appointment quickly when you need one.

Last reviewed: 
28 Sep 2018
  • Statement on malignant mesothelioma (MM) in the United Kingdom
    British Thoracic Society Standards of Care Committee, 2007

  • Guidelines of the European Respiratory Society and the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons for the management of malignant  pleural mesothelioma
    A Scherpereel and others
    European Respiratory Journal, 2010; 35 (3): pages 479-495

  • Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: European Society of Medical Oncology Clinical Practice Guidelines
    P Baas and others
    Annals of Oncology, 2015, 26 (suppl 5): v31-v39

  • Mesothelioma
    W Weder
    Annals of Oncology, 2010, 21 (supplement 7), vii 326-vii333

  • Peritoneal mesothelioma: current understanding and management
    T Chua and others
    Canadian Journal of Surgery: 2009 Feb;52(1): pages 59-64

  • Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines
    P. Baas and others
    Ann Oncol (2015) 26 (suppl 5): v31-v39

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