Parathyroid cancer behaves differently in each person, and a standard follow-up schedule would not work for everyone. People with parathyroid cancer should talk to their doctor about a follow-up plan that suits their individual situation. Follow-up care is often shared among the cancer specialists (oncologists) and the family doctor.
After treatment has ended, new symptoms and symptoms that don’t go away should be reported to the doctor without waiting for the next scheduled appointment. These may include:
The chance of parathyroid cancer recurring is greatest within 5 years, so close follow-up is needed during this time. However, parathyroid cancer can recur at any time.
Follow-up after parathyroid cancer treatment varies. Follow-up visits are usually scheduled at regular intervals. The frequency of follow-up visits may decrease as time goes by, but regular follow-up will be done for the rest of the person’s life.
During a follow-up visit, the doctor usually asks questions about the side effects of treatment, new symptoms and how the person is coping. The doctor may do a complete physical examination, including:
Tests may be ordered as part of follow-up or if the doctor suspects the cancer has come back (has recurred).
If a recurrence is found during follow-up, the oncology team will assess the person with cancer to determine the best treatment options.
A clinical trial led by the Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials group found that men with prostate cancer who are treated with intermittent courses of hormone therapy live as long as those receiving continuous therapy.