After treatment, it’s common to worry that every ache and pain is linked to the cancer. You’ll also still be getting used to what now feels normal. This makes it harder to know what to pay attention to and what to ignore.
Always let your doctor or nurse know if you have:
- any new or unusual symptoms that don’t go away
- symptoms or side effects that don’t improve over time
- symptoms similar to ones you had when you were first diagnosed
- general symptoms, for example losing weight, going off your food or feeling more tired than usual, for no obvious reasons.
Remember that you can get in touch with your cancer doctor or nurse in between appointments. They can reassure you or explain if your symptoms are likely to be linked to your treatment. They can also do some tests if needed.
You may not always be able to speak to your cancer team when you need to. It may help to contact the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 and talk to one of our cancer support specialists
You may feel you don’t want to be a nuisance by mentioning symptoms you think seem minor. But by not mentioning them you’ll continue to worry, so it’s always better to get them checked. Knowing the side effects of any ongoing treatment and any possible late treatment effects can help.
There may be certain symptoms linked with your type of cancer coming back. You can ask your doctor or nurse about these. This may help you to know what to look out for and stop you worrying unnecessarily.
Checking yourself for symptoms can be a good way of noticing a cancer that comes back. However, for some people, checking themselves can become their main focus and take up most of their time. This is unhelpful and can cause them to worry more and feel very anxious. Focusing on other aspects of well-being may be more helpful.