Self-monitoring after cancer treatment

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Even after cancer treatment has ended, it is important to continue self-monitoring for symptoms. Find out why this is important and why you should continue to attend all follow-up appointments.

Key points

  • It is important to attend all follow-up appointments after treatment so that your health-care team can make sure your cancer is in remission and monitor for late effects of treatment.
  • Continue to self-monitor for symptoms so that you can contact your health-care team if you notice any changes or have any concerns.

I’m off treatment. Why do I need to practise self-monitoring?

Now that treatment is over, you will continue to see your health-care team for follow-up visits. You may be visiting your family doctor for check-ups during this time as well.

These visits allow your health-care team to check your health, make sure your cancer is in remission, and monitor for any late effects of cancer treatment. You will learn about late effects in the next section. Of course, your health-care providers are the experts in cancer follow-up and late effects, but you are the expert when it comes to your body, your mind and your life.

Even after your treatment ends, continuing to pay attention to your body is important. You are often the first person to notice when something changes. When you practise self-monitoring, you have a better chance of noticing a problem sooner. This means that you and/or your parents can then share the problem with your health-care team. When a problem is spotted early, there is usually a better chance of finding a solution.

But I don’t want to think about cancer anymore!

This is normal. Many teens off treatment just want to stop thinking about health problems. The good news is that, for the most part, you can! After a bit of practice, you will find that self-monitoring only takes a few minutes a day.

Last updated: September 3rd 2019