Prostate cancer behaves differently in each man, and a standard follow-up schedule would not work for everyone. Men with prostate 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 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 prostate cancer recurring is greatest within 5 years, so close follow-up is needed during this time.
Follow-up after prostate cancer treatment varies depending on what type of treatment the man received.
Follow-up visits after a radical prostatectomy are usually scheduled:
Follow-up visits after radiation therapy are usually scheduled:
During a follow-up visit, the doctor usually asks questions about the side effects of treatment and how the man is coping. The doctor may do a complete physical examination, including a digital rectal examination (DRE) if the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level has increased.
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 man with cancer to determine the best treatment options.
The Canadian Cancer Society provides helpful information about government income programs, financial resources and other resources available to families struggling to make sense of the personal financial burden they face.