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Post Treatment 6 months +

Get a disease specific medical Follow Up Plan. Go over it with your primary care physician. Tell every doctor or other medical person about your cancer history including diagnosis, treatments and dates.

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For some people, late effects begin showing up within a few years after treatment while others do not see late effects for many years. Since two-thirds of all survivors will experience some late effects, follow-up provided by a knowledgeable provider or team of providers is key to good outcomes.

You can get an idea of the late term effects that may follow your treatment by looking at the list put together for late effects of childhood cancer. While not all information pertains to adult survivors, individuals of all ages may be at risk for late effects.

Primary care providers are not trained in caring for long-term survivors.

Your cancer doctor may provide follow up care. If not, look for a nearby Survivor clinic at an NCI certified cancer center. You can locate one at:

Your insurance is likely to cover these services.

When a specialist in long-term effects is not an option, your oncologist should provide a disease specific Follow Up Plan. If you don't have one, ask for it.

A disease specific medical Follow Up Plan provides a "watch for" list for you and your primary care doctor. It should include the following:

  • A description of your disease.
  • The name and duration of each treatment you received.
  • Steps to take to promote a full recovery.
  • What symptoms to look for that may indicate a recurrence.
  • What other conditions may show up in the future because of your particular disease and/or treatment.

Give a copy of the medical follow up Plan to your primary care doctor and to every other doctor you see.

If you cannot get such a plan, at least ask for a copy of your medical records that relate to your diagnosis and treatment. The records will be needed to create a plan.

If your primary care physician is not familiar with the long term effects of your cancer, or refuses to look at your follow up plan, look for another doctor. In addition to whatever other qualities you want in a primary doctor, it is preferable to look for one who is experienced with the long term effects of your cancer and treatment.

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