Caring for cancer continues even after the conclusion of the active treatment. After cancer treatment, the follow up care is especially important in continuing the effects of the treatment. This includes many regular medical checkups that cover a detailed review of the entire medical history of the patient. Furthermore, the follow up care also utilizes various imaging methods, endoscopy, lab tests, etc. This is instrumental in monitoring the overall health, as well as managing any of the side effects associated with cancer treatment.

The process of ensuring follow up care in cancer treatment is especially important, as it aids in determining the various adaptations in the health of the affected individual. The primary goal of follow up care is to check for recurrence of cancer after the treatment. This is due to the possibility of the cancerous cells to reside undetected in the body and resurge at the primary site after some time. This is also highly important for metastasis, which is the spread of cancer to the rest of the body.

Besides the possibility of recurrence of the cancer cells, follow up care also ensures the prevention or early detection of any other type of cancer in the body. Apart from tackling many of the problems associated with cancer and its treatment, follow up care also aids in dealing with many of the physical and psychological effects that may recur after many months post treatment.

Preparing a follow up care plan

Formulating a good follow up care plan is vital after the treatment of cancer. To achieve this, the patient and the doctor need to work together in developing a personalized follow up care plan. This will serve accurately for monitoring the overall health in a specific period. It will also include the regular physical examinations and medical tests to keep an eye on the overall health of the patient. Besides, the doctor will also consider the individual needs and preferences of the patient while preparing the follow up care plan.

Dealing with long term side effects

Cancer treatment usually causes many side effects to the patients. Many of these side effects can last longer than the treatment period, which are called long-term side effects, and these should be duly considered when preparing the follow up plan. Consult with a doctor in evaluating the various post treatment plans and other tests for effectively dealing with such conditions.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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