After treatment for oesophageal cancer

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What follow-up do I need?

No matter what type of cancer treatment you get, you will still need regular check-ups once it is over. This is called follow-up. 

The follow-up may involve having a physical exam, scans, a barium swallow, endoscopy or blood tests. You will also have the chance to ask any questions you have, and to let your doctor know if you are having any problems or finding it hard to cope. 

You may want to see the dietitian as well. If you have a follow-up appointment coming up, contact the dietitian to see if you can see the dietitian the same day.

If you are between check-ups and have a symptom or problem that is worrying you, contact your doctor or specialist nurse for advice and to make an appointment, if necessary.

If you become suddenly unwell and can’t contact your specialist nurse or hospital team, go to your GP or the accident and emergency department at the hospital.

What if the cancer comes back ?

If the cancer comes back (recurrent oesophageal cancer) you may have more surgery or other treatments like chemotherapy or radiotherapy, depending on where the cancer is and your general health. There may also be treatments you can have as part of a clinical trial.  Your doctor will advise you on what’s best in your situation. You might also find it reassuring to have another medical opinion. Your doctor will refer you to another specialist for a second opinion if you feel this would be helpful.

Why does cancer come back after treatment?

Unfortunately sometimes cancer does come back. This doesn’t mean that you did something wrong or that your first treatment was unsuccessful. Sometimes cancer cells remain in your body and start to grow again, although your doctors do all they can to prevent this.

Coping with a diagnosis of recurrent cancer

It can be hard to cope if you are facing cancer a second time. We have information on where to get emotional support, or you can talk to one of our cancer nurses in confidence by calling our Support Line or by visiting a Daffodil Centre. 

Feelings after treatment

It can take some time to come to terms with a cancer diagnosis, even after your treatment has ended. Read about feelings after treatment and where to get support. 

Healthy lifestyle changes

Many people want to live a healthier lifestyle after getting a cancer diagnosis. Get some advice on healthy living here.

For more information

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