Post-Chemo Check-Ups

After a person’s cancer goes into remission, he or she isn’t out of the woods completely yet. A person isn’t really out of the woods until after the five year marker. Until then, there is a chance, with any cancer, that it will come back. Because of this chance, it is very important not to miss any post-chemotherapy or post-treatment check-ups and tests with a doctor.

Check-ups vary from person to person. A person who had skin cancer is likely to be asked to undergo examinations of the skin to check for any new moles or old moles that suddenly look suspicious. Someone recovering from breast cancer, on the other hand, will probably have to endure a lot of mammograms in the post treatment check-ups.

In general, the length of time initially between check-ups is going to be very little. This is the most critical time when doctors will be able to determine if they got everything the first time and if the cancer really is dead. Also, it’s very important that if something does re-appear, it be caught very early.

Once a person successfully completes the first couple of months without any new cancer showing up anywhere, the doctor may suggest going to a once every three month check-up schedule. This allows the doctors to keep a wary eye on things but does not require the recovering cancer patient to make monthly trips to the doctor for follow-up tests and questions.

The every three month check up schedule can last as long or as short as the doctor wants, based on the type of cancer that was treated and at what stage the disease was caught. Obviously, catching cancer in the earlier stages is much better than catching it later. Catching it earlier means it has had less of a chance to spread throughout the body and so earlier stage individuals might be put on a shorter every three month check up schedule.

At the end of the every three months schedule, a doctor can recommend that a person come see him or her twice a year for the same sorts of tests. Once this test is passed without cancer, it will be possible to go on either a once a year or no check up schedule. These things all vary based on the type of cancer and when it was caught.

During the entire time of check-ups to the five year mark of being cancer free, a person is said to be in remission. The first five years after the end of chemo are when cancer is most likely to reappear and so a person may or may not technically be cured at the end of the first round of chemo.

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