Vaginal cancer

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Follow-up after treatment for vaginal cancer

Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. Follow-up for vaginal cancer is often shared among the cancer specialists (oncologists, surgeon) 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 pelvis, back or legs
  • bleeding from the vagina that is different from your normal menstrual period
  • vaginal bleeding if you have reached menopause
  • new changes in bladder or bowel habits
  • swelling in the legs

The chance that vaginal 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 vaginal cancer are usually scheduled every 3–6 months for the first 5 years after initial treatment.

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:

  • pelvic examination and rectal examination
  • Pap test – even if surgery has been done
  • feeling the lymph nodes in the pelvis and groin

Tests are often part of follow-up care. You may have:

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.

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