Follow-up care for Bone Cancer

Executive Summary

Follow-up care for bone 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 bone sarcoma. Watching the recurrence of bone sarcoma is seen in test reports of follow-up care. The follow-up care for bone sarcomas includes blood tests, physical examinations, and imaging tests like bone scans, CT scans or X-rays to check for cancer recurrence. The symptoms of bone pain, swelling or stiffness are immediately informed to the doctors. The doctor will propose checks and testing to check for late effects based on the sort of bone sarcoma treatment the patient underwent. 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 bone sarcoma 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 of Bone Cancer

Care for a 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. It is called Follow-up care for Bone Cancer ​1​.

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

For bone sarcoma, follow-up care usually consists of Blood tests, physical examinations, imaging tests like bone scans, CT scans or X-rays to check for cancer recurrence. Tell your doctors about any symptoms like bone pain, swelling or stiffness because they can be signs of cancer coming back or any other medical conditions ​2​.

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. 

Also Read: Role of Vitamin C in Cancer Treatment

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 grow until they show up any signs or symptoms or are seen in test reports. 

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

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.

People with a family history of cancer

In some cases, people with sarcoma have a strong history of cancer. It means other relatives of the family also had cancer. If there is a strong history of cancer in the family, genetic counsellors can explain what this diagnosis may mean for the people in the family. In some cases, special blood test screening can be done to determine who in the family is at risk to develop cancer.

Keeping personal health records

Along with your doctor, you should work together to develop a personalized follow-up care plan. 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. 1.
    Goedhart LM, Leithner A, Ploegmakers JJW, Jutte PC. Follow-Up in Bone Sarcoma Care: A Cross-Sectional European Study. Sarcoma. Published online July 1, 2020:1-6. doi:10.1155/2020/2040347
  2. 2.
    Cipriano C, Griffin AM, Ferguson PC, Wunder JS. Developing an Evidence-based Followup Schedule for Bone Sarcomas Based on Local Recurrence and Metastatic Progression. Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research. Published online March 2017:830-838. doi:10.1007/s11999-016-4941-x