Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer doesn’t stop affecting you after treatment. Regardless of how well treatment goes, you must live with the possibility that it will return. That’s why it’s important to schedule and attend regular visits with your provider after treatment.
In most cases, your provider will want to see you every three months for a couple years. At these visits, you’ll discuss your condition and any symptoms. You’ll also undergo a physical examination. On occasion, you may undergo a blood test or imaging exam.
Following surgery, your body’s ability to digest food may be impacted. To protect against malnutrition, you may need special medication. And because pancreatic cancer often causes weight loss and weakness, you should work with you provider and nutritionist to overcome these issues.
When their initial treatment is completed, patients are referred to Markey's survivorship clinic. The survivorship clinic is designed to connect a patient's medical history with their future quality of life after treatment is over.
During a meeting with a nurse practitioner, patients will review their survivorship care plan. This includes:
- a treatment summary
- a list of integrative medicine services at Markey
- an overview of immunizations and suggested cancer screenings based on the patient's age
Ask your nurse practitioner for more information on dieting, exercising and other daily activities following your initial treatment.
Dietitians and patient navigators are available as needed to help patients identify important aspects of their continuing health care. This may include long-term or late effects of treatment, diet and smoking cessation. Social workers specialized in oncology and financial counselors are available for counseling as well.
Patients also receive a personalized care plan, in line with national best practices for ongoing survivorship care. They are referred to a primary care provider if they don't already have one.
For more information on the survivorship clinic for pancreas cancer, please contact your care team.