Follow-up care

What does “follow up” mean?

No matter what type of cancer you had, after your radiation treatments end you will still need to see your doctor. Your doctor will check your progress and help you deal with problems that may come up. This part of your treatment is called follow-up care.

After treatment, there’s a chance that the cancer might come back. There’s no way of knowing if this will happen to you, but your doctor will want to watch for this.

Here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor after radiation ends:

  • When can I go back to doing my normal activities?
  • How often will I need to see you?
  • Which tests will be done and why?
  • Do I need to be on a special diet?

When should I call the doctor?

After treatment, you may be more aware of your body and any changes in how you feel from day to day. If you have any of the problems listed here, tell your doctor or nurse right away.

  • Pain that doesn’t go away or is getting worse
  • New lumps, bumps, or swelling
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, not wanting to eat, or trouble swallowing
  • Weight loss when you are not trying to lose weight
  • Fever or cough that doesn’t go away
  • A new rash, new bruises, or bleeding
  • Any other signs that your doctor or nurse wants to know about

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master's-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: October 9, 2015 Last Revised: October 9, 2015

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