Follow-up After Treatment
At SCCA, we follow our patients for at least 10 years. Typically, if you were treated with radiation or surgery, you will come for checkups every three to six months for the first two years after your treatment for prostate cancer is completed.
Men who reach the two-year mark without having a recurrence of their disease will be seen less often. From that point, we usually ask you to come in every six to 12 months for a checkup until five years have passed.
After five years, we usually follow our patients by mail.
Men who were treated for advanced testicular cancer will be followed more closely, with more frequent appointments.
Our patients say that they find it reassuring to see the same doctors who treated them for their follow-up visits.
Men who were treated at SCCA but do not live in the Seattle area may opt to receive their follow-up care with their local doctor. In these cases, we usually ask that these patients keep us up-to-date on their health status by phone or mail.
When your treatment ends, you may have mixed emotions: happy that the treatment is over and at the same time worried about the future. These feelings are shared by most cancer patients.
For a few months after your treatment ends, you may continue to have some bothersome side effects. Nausea, lack of appetite, and fatigue are common symptoms both during and after cancer therapy. Be sure to discuss these symptoms and any other concerns with your doctor at your follow-up appointments. Most side effects disappear over time.
At SCCA, the end of your treatment means the beginning of your follow-up care. We follow our patients for at least 10 years. Your doctor will continue to follow your recovery with regular examinations every three to six months for the first two years. Blood tests, X-rays, CT scans, and other studies will be performed to ensure that you remain healthy and that if there is a recurrence, it is caught early. Gradually your doctor will space your appointments farther apart, and you will be seen less often. By the time this happens, you may be relieved to have fewer appointments.