Remaining Vigilant After You Have
Completed Treatment

Aftercare for cancer is an active and important part of the cancer care process. Once the cancer treatment is over and done with, you need to continue seeing your cancer care team to avoid remission. Your doctor will then recommend an aftercare plan to monitor and manage your health and ensure better management of any lasting side-effects. The main focus would be to regularly screen you and document any early signs of relapse, if they occur.

Creating
an Aftercare Plan

It is important for you to create an aftercare plan after you have completed your cancer treatment. An essential part of any aftercare plan is visiting your doctor for regular medical check-ups. These check-ups focus on monitoring your body’s reaction to the treatment and look out for any potential side effects. These visits are also a time to check for physical or emotional effects of your cancer treatment, which may develop months or even years after treatment ends.

If you intent to consult a different doctor after your treatment ends, it is a good idea to have an update meeting with your new doctor, current doctor and your caregivers, where you can share all the necessary details of your treatment journey, and have an open discussion about the road ahead. A conversation between your old and new clinical team will ensure a smoother transition to aftercare.

Screening tests

Screening tests for your post-cancer care can vary, depending on your case and treatment. Your doctor will talk to you about your particular case and share a plan for your screening needs. This will depend upon the following:

  • the type of cancer you had
  • the treatment you received
  • your overall health, including possible treatment-related side effects

While this information will determine your personalized screening schedule, follow-up appointments typically occur every 3-4 months for the first 2-3 years after treatment. After 3 years, you may need to visit to your doctor every 6 months.

These appointments generally constitute a physical exam, blood tests and other tests related to the type of cancer you’ve been treated for. You can read more about the tests for each type of cancer here:

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