Follow-up care for bladder cancer refers to the after-treatment protocols conducted by the healthcare team to look after recurrence, manage the side effects, and monitor the patients’ overall health. Both medical and physical examinations are included in the follow-up care of bladder cancer. Watching the recurrence of bladder cancer is seen in test reports of follow-up care. Regular physical examination, cystoscopy (if the bladder is not removed), urine cytology, medical tests etc. are recommended after a diagnosis of bladder cancer. The doctor will propose checks and testing to check for late effects based on the sort of bladder cancer treatment the patient underwent, mainly involving surgery. Managing the side effects while receiving treatment is a critical follow-up care approach. Personalizing the follow-up care plan is essential for patients with bladder cancer conducted by the medical care team. Effective communication with the doctor regarding the long term effects of all the treatments will be effective in the future.
Follow-up Care for Bladder Cancer
Follow-up Care for Bladder Cancer patients 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. It is called follow up care for Bladder Cancer.
The follow-up care for Bladder Cancer includes a regular physical examination, cystoscopy (if the bladder is not removed), urine cytology, medical tests etc. 1.
Watching for recurrence
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 2.
If you have any symptoms, such as pain during urination, blood in the urine, frequent urination, and any other symptoms, always remember to inform in detail about it to your health care team.
Scan-xiety is often used for the stress the patient or the family can have before the follow-up tests.
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Managing long term and late side effects
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.
Both late and long term, these side effects can be both physical and emotional.
If you had a treatment known to have particular late effects, you might need physical examinations, blood tests, or scans to help find and manage them 3.
Keeping personal health records
Along with your doctor, you should work together to develop a personalized follow-up care plan for Bladder Cancer. Some patients, after the treatment, continue to see their oncologist or urologist, while others go back to the care of their family/primary care doctor. It usually depends on several factors, including the type and stage of bladder cancer, side effects, health insurance rules, and personal preferences, beliefs and expectations.
- 1.Soukup V, Babjuk M, Bellmunt J, et al. Follow-up After Surgical Treatment of Bladder Cancer: A Critical Analysis of the Literature. European Urology. Published online August 2012:290-302. doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2012.05.008
- 2.Anastasiadis A, Cordeiro E, Bus MT, Alivizatos G, de la Rosette JJ, de Reijke TM. Follow-up procedures for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer: an update. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy. Published online September 2012:1229-1241. doi:10.1586/era.12.98
- 3.Strope SA, Chang SH, Chen L, Sandhu G, Piccirillo JF, Schootman M. Survival Impact of Followup Care after Radical Cystectomy for Bladder Cancer. Journal of Urology. Published online November 2013:1698-1703. doi:10.1016/j.juro.2013.05.051