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After your treatment has finished, you will have regular check-ups and possibly scans or x-rays. These check-ups will probably continue for several years.
If you have any problems, or notice any new symptoms between these times, let your doctor or specialist nurse know as soon as possible.
For women whose treatment is over apart from regular check-ups, our section on life after cancer treatment| gives useful advice on how to keep healthy and adjust to life after treatment.
You may have blood tests to check the level of the CA125 protein in your blood. If you had raised CA125 levels when you were diagnosed, the blood test can help to show whether the cancer is beginning to come back (a recurrence).
Often the CA125 level will begin to rise before any symptoms develop. A trial has looked at whether it is helpful to start treatment when the CA125 is raised but there are no other indications that the cancer has come back. Results of this trial have shown that there is no advantage to starting treatment based on a raised CA125 result. The doctors are likely to suggest further treatment only when you have symptoms, or if an examination or scan results make it clear that the cancer has come back.
Your specialist may discuss with you whether you would like to have regular CA125 blood tests after you have finished treatment. Some women might prefer to have their CA125 level checked so that they have an early warning that the cancer might be coming back. Others might choose to only have the blood test if they have symptoms they are worried about.
If the cancer comes back, treatment with chemotherapy| is often used to keep the cancer under control for a time. This can sometimes be effective for several years. Many different types of chemotherapy can be used for women in this situation. The same chemotherapy drugs that were given initially can be used if you previously had a good response to them, or different ones may be tried.
Occasionally it may be possible to remove tumours that have come back using surgery|. Radiotherapy| may be used to treat particular areas or to relieve symptoms.
Content last reviewed: 1 February 2011
Next planned review: 2013
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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