Follow-up after radiotherapy: how and why?


After radiation therapy, patients are regularly followed by the treating physician and radiation oncologist for 5 to 10 years.

The follow-up after radiotherapy is very important. It is ensured by the radiation oncologist and the treating physician. This follow-up will be regular and for up to 5-10 years.. Its length depends on the cancer type and radiotherapy type received by the patient. The objective is to control that the treatment is well toleratedandthat the patient does not develop disabling late side effects, especially late side effects It should be kept in mind that acute toxicities (e.g. fatigue, skin reddening) are unavoidable, but will disappear rapidly when the treatment is stopped. During this follow-up, the physicians also evaluate the treatment effectivenessby physical examination, laboratory tests (results of a blood test), or imaging (CT, MRI, ultrasonography, or positron emission tomography, PET). These follow-up consultations also are an important time for discussionbetween patient and doctor.