Follow-up after radiotherapy treatment
The positive effects of radiotherapy may take some time to show. How well the radiotherapy has worked will usually be assessed when you go to your first follow-up appointment, which is about 4-6 weeks after the treatment has finished.
People sometimes expect to be given an x-ray or scan at the end of their treatment to see if it has worked. However, in many cases the tumour may take some time to shrink and the radiotherapy may cause some inflammation, which means that x-rays and scans may not be helpful at this time.
After your treatment has finished you will have regular follow-up appointments. These may be at the radiotherapy department or at your original hospital. How often you have check-ups will vary depending on your type of cancer and on your hospital, but as time goes by these appointments will become less frequent. Your clinical oncologist will keep in touch with your GP (family doctor) so they know how you’re progressing.
Follow-up appointments are a good opportunity to discuss any problems or worries you have. It may help to make a list of questions beforehand so you don’t forget anything important.
If you have any problems or notice any new symptoms in between appointments, tell your clinical oncologist as soon as possible. You don’t have to wait until your next scheduled appointment - just ask for an earlier one.
Many people find that they get very anxious for a while before their appointments. This is natural and it may help to get support from family, friends or a support organisation during this time.