Living with cancer now

Follow-up care

Aspects of your care will continue:

  • routine tests, for example blood tests and X rays
  • information about your test results that will be closely monitored by your clinical team
  • an invitation to attend an outpatient appointment or to have the tests again if the test results were abnormal
  • contact with your clinical team if you need support or have any concerns you would like to discuss (they will let you know how to get in touch).

Supported self-management and personalised cancer care allows you to take an active and leading role in your recovery from cancer and puts you in control of your care. Support from your specialist cancer team is there if you need it but there are lots of things you can do to look after your own health during and after cancer treatment, such as physical activity and healthy eating.

During your treatment and care, a member of your team will discuss self-managing your support with you. Once you and your specialist have agreed it is the right option for you, you will no longer have routine follow-up clinic appointments at hospital.

However, it is important to contact your clinical team if you notice or experience any of the symptoms listed in the section below.

These symptoms do not necessarily mean the cancer has returned. They may be due to side effects of treatment or completely unrelated to your condition. By contacting your clinical team, they will be able to advise and reassure you. If necessary, they can arrange any checks you may need.

The booklets below were produced for cancer patients who would have attended a workshop to discuss follow up care. Due to Covid-19, these workshops are currently suspended however the booklets contain a lot of useful information you may find useful during your follow-up care.

Breast cancer follow up

  • New lump in or near breast, mastectomy scar, armpit or neck
  • Changes to the appearance of the breast including: size or shape, colour, puckering or dimpling or the skin (orange peel effect), inverted nipples, redness or rash, swelling, liquid that comes from the nipple without squeezing
  • New swelling of the arm
  • Unexpected weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Persistent shortness of breath or a persistent cough
  • Persistent nausea or abdominal pain
  • Persistent headaches or visual disturbances
  • Loss of balance
  • Unexplained bone pain in one or more places.

Colorectal (bowel) cancer follow up

  • Bleeding or mucous discharge from the bowel
  • Changes in appetite and unexplained weight loss
  • More tired than normal
  • Abdominal (tummy), back or pelvic pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Changes in bowel patterns lasting more than 6 weeks
  • Hernia
  • No bowel movement in a few days and feel sick or have vomited (seek medical advice straight away).

Prostate cancer follow up

  • Bone pain lasting more than 6 weeks
  • Blood in stools (poo)
  • Changes in bowel patterns lasting more than 6 weeks
  • Blood in urine
  • New or worsening incontinence
  • Changes in passing urine (hesitancy or slow flow)
  • Unplanned weight loss.

The booklets below were produced for cancer patients who would have attended a workshop to discuss follow up care. Due to Covid-19, these workshops are currently suspended however the booklets contain a lot of useful information you may find useful during your follow-up care.

Breast cancer follow up

  • New lump in or near breast, mastectomy scar, armpit or neck
  • Changes to the appearance of the breast including: size or shape, colour, puckering or dimpling or the skin (orange peel effect), inverted nipples, redness or rash, swelling, liquid that comes from the nipple without squeezing
  • New swelling of the arm
  • Unexpected weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Persistent shortness of breath or a persistent cough
  • Persistent nausea or abdominal pain
  • Persistent headaches or visual disturbances
  • Loss of balance
  • Unexplained bone pain in one or more places.

Colorectal (bowel) cancer follow up

  • Bleeding or mucous discharge from the bowel
  • Changes in appetite and unexplained weight loss
  • More tired than normal
  • Abdominal (tummy), back or pelvic pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Changes in bowel patterns lasting more than 6 weeks
  • Hernia
  • No bowel movement in a few days and feel sick or have vomited (seek medical advice straight away).

Prostate cancer follow up

  • Bone pain lasting more than 6 weeks
  • Blood in stools (poo)
  • Changes in bowel patterns lasting more than 6 weeks
  • Blood in urine
  • New or worsening incontinence
  • Changes in passing urine (hesitancy or slow flow)
  • Unplanned weight loss.
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