You usually have follow up appointments 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 may include:
- blood tests
- a CT scan
- an MRI scan
- ultrasound scans
You may also see other health professionals during these appointments.
You might be able to arrange to see a physiotherapist or counsellor through your doctor or nurse at the outpatient clinic.
How often you have check ups
Your first check up is usually 2 to 4 weeks after leaving hospital. Then, your check ups will be every few months. They will gradually become less frequent. The check ups are often every 3 months for 2 years and then every 6 months for the next 3 years. Your team might keep in touch for up to 10 years, but your visits to the clinic will be much less.
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
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.
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.
You can also get support from community nurses.