60% of high-priority research goes unfunded.
Follow-up after treatment for adrenal gland cancer
Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. Follow-up for adrenal gland cancer is often shared among your surgeon, endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in diseases of the endocrine system) and family doctor. Your healthcare team will work with you to decide on follow-up care to meet your needs.
Don’t wait until your next scheduled appointment to report any new symptoms and symptoms that don’t go away. Tell your healthcare team if you have:
- weight gain
- muscle weakness or cramps
- excessive hair growth on face, arms, chest and back in women
- mood changes
- rapid heart beat
- pain in the abdomen or back
Adrenal gland cancer can come back (recur) at any time, so close follow-up is needed.
Schedule for follow-up visits
Follow-up visits for adrenal gland cancer are often scheduled as follows:
- 2 to 6 weeks after surgery to check hormone levels
- every 3 months for the first 2 or 3 years
- every 6 months for the next 5 years
During follow-up visits
During a follow-up visit, your healthcare team will usually ask questions about the side effects of treatment and how you’re coping. Tests are often part of follow-up care. You may have:
- a physical exam
- blood chemistry tests to check hormone levels
- urine tests to check hormone levels
- imaging tests such as a CT scan, an MRI, a bone scan or a chest x-ray to check for metastases
- an MIBG scan to check for pheochromocytoma tumours
If the cancer has come back, you and your healthcare team will discuss a plan for your treatment and care.
Questions to ask about follow-up
To make the decisions that are right for you, ask your healthcare team questions about follow-up.
Brock has been cancer free for over a decade, thanks to the support we received from the Canadian Cancer Society.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.