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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.
I’m extremely grateful to the Canadian Cancer Society for funding my research with an Innovation Grant.
What’s the lifetime risk of getting cancer?
The latest Canadian Cancer Statistics report shows about half of Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.