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. This is 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
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 any signs or symptoms 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
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.
Some eosinophilic leukaemia treatments may cause the following long-term side effects.
- Numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and feet from vincristine.
- A weakened heart muscle from higher total doses of doxorubicin (Adriamycin) or radiation therapy to the chest.
- Infertility (inability to have a child) or premature menopause from high-dose cyclophosphamide or other chemotherapy.
- Secondary leukaemia or secondary cancer is more common after chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
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.