Follow-up Care for Anal Cancer

Executive Summary 

Follow-up care for anal cancer refers to the after-treatment protocols conducted by the healthcare team for looking after any recurrence, managing the side effects and monitoring the overall health of the patients. Both medical and physical examinations are included in the follow-up care of anal cancer patients. Monitoring the recurrence of anal cancer are seen in test reports of follow-up care. Managing the side effects while receiving treatment is considered as the important follow-up care approach for the patients. Personalizing the follow-up care plan is an important approach for anal tumour patients, which is conducted by the medical care team.

Follow-up Care for Anal Cancer

Care for a anal cancer patient does not end with the end of active treatment that was going on. Even after that, the health care team looks after the cancer recurrence, managing the side effects developed due to the treatment and monitoring your overall health ​1​. This is called follow up care.

Your follow-up care includes medical tests, physical examination or both. 

Doctors usually keep track of your recovery in the months and years ahead. 

Cancer rehabilitation is usually recommended, and this could mean any of a wide range of services, such as physical therapy, career counselling, pain management, nutritional planning, and emotional counselling. 

Watching for recurrence of Anal cancer

One of the things to take care of after cancer treatment is recurrence. Cancer recurrence happens when a few cancerous cells remain even after treatment; they again grow until they show up any signs or symptoms or are seen in test reports. 

Scan-xiety is often used for the patient or the family’s stress before the follow-up tests.

Managing long-term and late side effects of anal cancer

Most people encounter different side effects while receiving treatment. But in some patients, side effects linger beyond the treatment duration. These are the long term side effects. 

Late side effects can develop after months or even after years of treatment. 

Keeping personal health records

Along with your doctor, you should develop a personalized follow-up care plan. Some patients, after the treatment, continue to see their oncologist, while others go back to the care of their family/primary care doctor. This usually depends on various factors, including the type and stage of cancer, side effects, health insurance rules, personal preferences, beliefs and expectations.


  1. 1.
    Siegel R, Werner R, Koswig S, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline: Anal Cancer—Diagnosis, Treatment and Follow-up. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2021;118(Forthcoming). doi:10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0027