Prostate Cancer Follow Up Guide
Everyone who has gone through prostate cancer treatment should have a Cancer Follow Up Plan, no matter how limited treatment may have been.
A Cancer Follow Up Plan describes your condition and treatments, as well as vulnerabilities to watch for after the end of treatment. For instance, if a side effect of a treatment is increased risk for a heart attack, the Plan would tell you to eat heart healthy and what symptoms to watch for.
Use your Plan as a guide for symptoms that should trigger action (generally to call your doctor), as well as preventive measures to take about conditions for which you may be more prone than the general population.
Give a copy of your Cancer Follow Up Plan to your primary care doctor (yes, you still have to see a primary care doctor for your overall health) and any other doctors you see. They are not cancer specialists and may not know everything to watch for because of your condition and/or treatment.
Even with a Cancer Follow Up Plan, a primary care doctor may miss signs that would be meaningful to an oncologist or other specialist. For safety, keep your specialist informed about any changes in your health. You don't have to set an appointment. You can correspond by e mail, fax or snail mail.
If you are no longer seeing the specialist, the doctor will let you know if she or he no longer wants to hear from you. If this happens, consider engaging another specialist who will agree to receive your updates. The document in "To Learn More" about choosing a specialist links to an interactive chart to help you choose the best specialist for your needs.