Follow-up and post-operative care

Beginning to recover

As you come to the end of your treatment it can help to talk to someone from your cancer team. They will tell you what to expect after treatment ends and ask about your concerns.

This discussion may be called a holistic needs assessment or an end of treatment assessment and it may be given to you as part of a care plan. Not all hospitals do this. If you do have a care plan you can take it along to any appointments with your GP.

It’s good to know what to expect when your treatment ends. So you may want to ask about things like:

  • how often and for how long you will have check ups
  • whether you will have regular scans or tests
  • what signs and symptoms to look out for
  • how you can reduce the risk of the cancer coming back
  • any late effects and anything you can do to reduce the risk
  • how to stay healthy

Someone from your cancer team, such as your specialist nurse, will act as your main contact. They will give you their number so you can contact them with any concerns.

Care after treatment

What happens after treatment depends on the type of cancer and treatment you’ve had. It’s likely that you’ll have check-ups in the first year or so. This could be in person at the hospital, or by telephone with a specialist nurse. You may need to have tests and scans but you will also be given information on how to look out for specific symptoms or side effects. Your healthcare team can also give you advice and emotional support.

When you visit your doctor it may help for you to take someone with you, write a list of questions and take a notepad to write down their answers. You can speak honestly to your doctor about how you are feeling and any symptoms you may have.

It’s a good idea to book an appointment with your GP after your treatment finishes. Your GP is responsible for your general health and can give you emotional support as well as advice on your recovery and staying well.