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Follow-up after treatment for uterine cancer
Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. Follow-up for uterine cancer is often shared among the cancer specialists (gynecologist, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist and 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 in the lower abdomen, pelvis, back or legs
- vaginal bleeding or discharge
- change in bladder habits
- change in bowel habits
- weight loss
- chronic cough
The chance of uterine cancer coming back, or recurring, is greatest within the first few years after treatment, so close follow-up is needed during this time.
Schedule for follow-up visits
Follow-up visits for uterine cancer are usually scheduled:
- every 3–4 months for the first 2–3 years after initial treatment
- every 6 months for the next 2–3 years
- yearly from then on
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:
- doing a pelvic exam
- feeling the lymph nodes in the neck and groin area
Tests are often part of follow-up care. You may have:
- a chest x-ray if you have a chronic cough
- a CT scan if you have symptoms or your doctor finds something during the physical exam
- blood tests to check cancer antigen 125 (CA125) levels if they were higher than normal before surgery for advanced stage cancer
If a recurrence is found, your healthcare team will assess you to determine the best treatment options.
Find out more about these tests and procedures.
Questions to ask about follow-up
To make the decisions that are right for you, ask your healthcare team questions about follow-up.
Making progress in the cancer fight
The 5-year cancer survival rate has increased from 25% in the 1940s to 60% today.