Getting Follow-Up Care

Routine follow-up care after treatment helps you stay healthy, enhances your well-being and enables your doctor to check for any signs of your cancer coming back. These routine visits with your treating oncologist for several years after diagnosis – followed by your primary care doctor – are essential.

These checkups include a review of your medical history as well as a physical exam. They may also include imaging procedures (such as X-rays and CT scans), an endoscopy (use of a thin, lighted tube to examine the inside of the body), blood work and other lab tests.

Follow-up is important because finding any disease recurrence early is key to successful treatment. Your doctor will ask questions about any ongoing symptoms you may be having, especially those related to recurrence and long-term side effects of treatment.

These visits are also important to help prevent and detect other types of cancer, address ongoing health problems and check for physical and psychosocial effects that may develop months to years after treatment ends.