Follow-up after treatment for mesothelioma
Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. Follow-up for mesothelioma is often shared among the cancer specialists (oncologists) 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:
- increased pain in the chest or abdomen
- increased coughing or shortness of breath
- swelling of the abdomen
Schedule for follow-up visits
Follow-up after mesothelioma treatment varies because there are no standard guidelines. Follow-up visits are tailored to your situation and the type of treatment that you had.
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:
- listening to the chest
- feeling the abdomen
Tests are often part of follow-up care. You may have:
- A CT scan to see how well treatments are working to shrink or slow the growth of mesothelioma. It may also be done to check if mesothelioma has come back (recurred) after treatment.
A chest or abdominal x-ray may be done if you have any new symptoms.
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.
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.