Once you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, it can feel as if your everyday life has been replaced with an endless rotation of doctor’s visits and treatment cycles. Thanks to the incredible advancements in cancer care, more and more cancer patients are getting to receive the wonderful news that their cancer is in remission. After hearing that news and reflecting on all of the consultation, test, imaging, and treatment appointments you had to go through to get there, it is sometimes daunting to hear that you will continue to have follow-up surveillance appointments. But as eager as you may be to leave your cancer experience behind you, it is critical to embark on a course of follow-up appointments following successful cancer treatment.
Generally, follow-up appointments start at intervals of every three to four months for the first two years. From years three to five, you’ll need check-ups every six months. For many cancers, a clean record after five years is considered a “cure” for your cancer. Until then, however, you have to remain vigilant. Finally, from year six on, you’ll visit your doctor annually.
Keep in mind, however, that these intervals are approximate. Each cancer patient has unique needs, and different types of cancer have different rates of recurrence. For the most part, recurrence generally will happen within the first two years after successful treatment. That is why appointments are so close together during the first 24 months.
In your follow-up appointments, your doctor will conduct a health review of systems, order labs, and imaging, and generally inquire as to how you are feeling and recovering. Cancer treatments take a toll on your body–physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your oncologist will want to hear about any symptoms, ailments, and other struggles you are having to ensure you are fully supported on your road to recovery.
For cancer survivors, it is imperative to keep a close eye on how they are feeling and be attentive to their health and well-being. If you have any health concerns or notice changes to your overall health, particularly any related to the type of cancer for which you were initially treated, it is important that you schedule an appointment to see your doctor right away. Being proactive and mindful of your health is an important part of recovery.
Choose Comprehensive Cancer Care
Treatment fatigue is common among individuals treated for cancer; it can be hard not to feel like the disease is consuming your life. However, it is crucial to adhere to your treatment plan and continued follow-up surveillance and monitoring. To help you along the way, a cancer care facility like Beacon Clinic can help you maintain your quality of life during and after treatment to keep you focused and positive.
At Beacon, we offer patient-centric, compassionate cancer care that integrates cutting-edge treatments with supportive services, including supportive services that can help after successful treatment.
Supportive services focus on making sure you are physically and emotionally cared for during and after your treatment. When undergoing cancer treatment, you may not have the energy to coordinate the support services you need for yourself, so we ensure you get support during this period. This may include nutrition counseling, mental health support, physical therapy, travel and lodging assistance, paramedical tattooing, cleaning services, and more! It can even provide caregiver support for your family members. At Beacon, we can provide help directly, or we will assist you in finding needed services and connecting you with trusted professionals.
We offer financial counseling to help you understand your insurance coverage, calculate out-of-pocket costs, and help you configure payment plans with your providers. In addition, we can help locate sources of grants from foundations that provide various forms of financial assistance to cancer patients. Our team can help determine your eligibility for support programs and help you apply for financial aid when it is available. We advocate for you every step of the way and try to alleviate as many burdens and stressors as we can.
We offer wellness support both during and after treatment to ensure you are taking care of yourself properly to get you through the challenging treatment period, as well as help you recover as quickly as possible. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help reduce the risk that your cancer recurs, including changing your diet or increasing your physical activity.
By taking care of your health, going to regular follow-up check-ups, and working with Beacon Clinic to ensure you get the support you need, you can stay on top of your health. Knowing and understanding your condition following treatment is crucial if you want to remain cancer-free and live your best life.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer, you don’t have to handle this challenge alone. Contact Beacon Clinic today to find out how we can offer you the resources you need during this time.