Long-term follow up or late-effects is the term used to describe the ‘survivorship period’, the years after cancer therapy. Many people think that getting through treatment is all it takes. However, although many of the hard yards are involved in the initial treatment phase it is important to stay in touch with a health care professional long-term to make sure you continue to stay well.
Long-term follow up can be done using many approaches. It can involve the doctor that initially treated your illness, or a different doctor who specialises in late effects. It can be done also as a team between your treating doctor and your local general practitioner. Most important to the process is that you, the patient, is made aware of the therapy that you have received, and what the necessary follow up is, for your unique situation.
Survivorship Care at Treat Unique
If you have previously been treated for cancer, as either a child or adolescent/ young adult, our service will happily provide survivorship guidance and care for you. An initial consult would involve taking an accurate history and gaining a summary of your treatment, to date. This will include:
- knowing all of the doses of chemotherapy to date and how much (what dose) was given.
- A summary of any radiation therapy you have had including site/field and dose
- Name and dates of surgeries performed including insertion of central lines
- Whether high dose procedures were performed (i.e. autologous transplant)
- Details of any complications experienced during and since your treatment
- An understanding of whether fertility preservation was performed prior to commencement of treatment
With your permission we will contact relevant health practitioners previously involved in your care, if necessary, to confirm any outstanding information.
Following this initial consultation a follow up consultation will be organised. At this appointment you will be given an outline of what follow up you will require. Most long-term follow up (for patients > 2 years post therapy) are performed every 6-12 months.