Absolutlely not! Finishing your cancer treatment is a cause for celebration. But you won’t be celebrating getting rid of your cancer doctors. Don’t worry, you won’t have to see the doctor as often as you did while you were getting treatment. But you will still see the doctor for follow up visits. This may mean that you see multiple doctors. If you had surgery, you will see your surgeon. If you had chemotherapy, you will see your medical oncologist. And if you had radiation treatments, you will see your radiation oncologist too.
I would suggest that you stager your appointments so that you’re seeing someone every couple of months. I would not try to see all three doctors during the same month or the same week. I know this may seem like a lot, but the more doctors that are following you, the less likely it is that something will get missed.
Follow up care with your cancer doctor is very important after finishing cancer treatment. There are many reasons we follow you closely after finishing treatment.
- We look at the side effects that happened during your treatment, and monitor them as they go away.
- If they don’t go away, we give you things to help relieve or eliminate symptoms.
- We watch for side effects that can show up months, or even years after treatment has finished .
- We monitor you closely to see if the cancer comes back. By ordering the appropriate tests and x-rays at the proper intervals
- We assist you in finding ways and programs to help you regain strength, physical functioning, and independence that you may have lost due to cancer or its treatment.
- We assist you in making positive lifestyle changes that will help prevent your cancer from coming back or prevent you from getting a second cancer. This includes eating healthier foods, exercising more, stopping tobacco use, limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, and finding positive ways to manage stress.
Even though you’re seeing the doctor on regular basis there are still things that you can do to help us monitor your health after treatment.
- Tell your doctor if you’re having any unusual or abnormal symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath or headaches that get worse or don’t go away. Even if the complaint or problem seems trivial, if it does not go away or gets worse, then it needs to be evaluated. If your appointment with the doctor is not for several weeks or months, Call the doctors office to let them know that you’re having problems and schedule an appointment to come in sooner.
- Let your doctor know when you start any new medications or stop any medications that you were previously on.
- When x-rays or labwork are ordered, make sure that you get them as scheduled. Make sure that you get the results of those labs or x-rays. Don’t assume that no news is good news. If you don’t have an appointment scheduled to come back to get your results, then call the doctors office to get your results if they don’t call you.
Follow-up care is very important. Getting rid of the cancer is just the beginning.
:I will always have someone who is just as concerned about my health as I am.