You have regular appointments with your doctor or nurse after treatment finishes. This is called follow up.
Why you have follow up
You have follow up appointments to check how you are and see if you have any problems or worries. The appointments also give you the chance to raise any concerns you have about your progress.
How often you have follow up
How often you see the doctor depends on the type of treatment you had, the side effects and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
You usually see your doctor every 6 months. You might see them less often if you had surgery to remove the tumour and there are no signs of it coming back.
Your doctor or nurse may examine 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. The tests may include:
- blood tests
- CT scan
- radioactive scan (octreotide or gallium PET scan)
Contact your doctor or specialist nurse if you have any concerns between appointments. You should also contact them if you notice any new symptoms. You don’t have to wait until your next visit.
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 during or after cancer treatment.
You can also find people to share experiences with by using our online forum, CancerChat.