During and after your treatment, you will usually have regular appointments at the outpatient clinic at the hospital. You will usually have regular talks with someone from your cancer team. This may be your surgeon, specialist doctor, nurse or another health professional.
During your appointment, your doctor or nurse may examine you and check your blood results. They will talk to you about what to expect during and after treatment. They will ask you about how you are feeling, if you are eating well, or about any symptoms or worries you have. If you have any problems or notice any new symptoms between appointments, let your doctor or specialist nurse know as soon as possible.
Some hospitals provide a treatment summary that describes:
- the treatment you’ve had
- what you should expect
- details of the follow-up or tests you’ll have.
You keep a copy and the hospital should send a copy to your GP. You may have your follow-up appointments with your GP. This is called a shared care agreement.
Many people find they get very anxious before appointments. This is natural and it may help to get support from family or friends during this time.
Some cancer teams use holistic needs assessments (HNA) to plan your care. Your team may write a care plan based on this. This should give information about the support you are getting and other services that may be useful. You should have a copy of the care plan and can update it whenever you need to. You can use it at follow-up appointments or when you see your GP or other doctor.
These treatment summaries, assessments and care plans aren’t used everywhere, but more hospitals are starting to use them.