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Follow-up after treatment for gallbladder cancer
Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. Follow-up for gallbladder cancer is often shared among the cancer specialists and your 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:
- pain or an increase in pain in the abdomen
The chance that gallbladder cancer will come back (recur) is greatest within 2 years, so close follow-up is needed during this time.
Schedule for follow-up visits
Follow-up visits for gallbladder cancer are usually scheduled every 6 months after treatment is finished.
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.
Your doctor may do a physical exam, including:
- feeling the abdomen for any lumps, tenderness, swelling or fluid
- looking at the whites of the eyes and skin for yellowing (a sign of jaundice)
- feeling the lymph nodes in the groin
Tests are often part of follow-up care. If you have new symptoms, you may have:
- imaging tests, such as a CT scan
- blood tests
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.
Establishing a national caregivers strategy
The Canadian Cancer Society is actively lobbying the federal government to establish a national caregivers strategy to ensure there is more financial support for this important group of people.