For patients, caregivers and family members of the CTCA Community
 
 
Follow-Up Care

Appointments and communication are vital

“Has my cancer spread or returned?”

That is the question most of us expect our follow-up appointments after cancer treatment to answer—with imaging procedures, bloodwork and other lab tests. But answering that question is only one of the many important reasons to regularly attend your follow-up care visits.

Your follow-up appointments can help you manage many of the unexpected issues caused by cancer and cancer treatments. And regular communication with your care team can play a powerful role in your continuing health.

You are not alone

Cancer patients are often surprised by some of the issues that develop months or even years after treatment ends—and they may be reluctant to discuss them with others. These unanticipated health problems can include:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Neuropathy (pain and numbness caused by nerve damage)
  • Memory problems (sometimes referred to as “chemo brain”)
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression

Many cancer patients do not want to tell their physicians about these issues. But your care team wants to hear about them so they can help you address the issues before they affect your quality of life.

Follow-up appointments give you the opportunity to discuss these symptoms with your care team. Remember: You are not alone!

Be an empowered patient

You can play a powerful role in your own continuing health. No one knows your body as well as you do. That is why it is so important to be aware of any changes you notice in your health—and to mention them to your care team.

Something that seems trivial may, in fact, be minor—but it could be lifesaving information. Many times patients suspect or discover recurrences of cancer themselves, before a scan or a lab test reveals the signs.

Make sure you tell your doctor about any symptoms you think may be a sign your cancer has returned. That power belongs to you alone!

A community of care

Your follow-up appointments are not all about tests and doctor visits—they are about your complete wellness. There is an entire team designed around your specific needs!

Take advantage of that help:
  • Primary care physicians and surgeons
  • Acupuncturists
  • Naturopaths
  • Physical therapists
  • Nutritionists
  • Psychologists and social workers

Keep your scheduled follow-up appointments. For any given conditions affecting you, there are many ways your care team can offer relief.

Celebrate survivorship at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA)!

CTCA® has made survivorship care a strong priority, creating the Survivorship Support program to address the complex needs of cancer survivors and helping ensure optimal health once cancer treatment is over.

Plus, each year, CTCA celebrates the lives of our five-year survivors with the Celebrate Life® event—an important tradition that commemorates a patient’s journey of hope and healing. Celebrate Life is a truly inspirational time, not only for our survivors, but for all CTCA patients and caregivers.

Take an active role in your follow-up appointments so we can celebrate with you!

Ask your Cancer Fighters® team for more information about the Survivorship Support program.

You may be interested in these resources:
VACATION PLANNING

Many Cancer Fighters® members say vacations are vital to their physical and mental well-being.

 
EXERCISE

Exercise can help you regain strength, improve your mood, and tolerate your cancer treatments better.

 
SEX AND INTIMACY

The Sex and Intimacy After Treatment Forum is a safe place to ask your most personal questions.