Patients are cared for in ways that go beyond the treatment itself. The health-care staff must remain vigilant in order to detect recurrence early. Following up after treatment for bone cancer can help patients cope with side effects and keep track of their general health.
Why is follow up important ?
1. Keep an eye out for a tumour recurrence.
2. To maintain track of a patient's medical condition on a frequent basis.
3. Dealing with long-term and short-term side effects
4. Keeping a look out for people who have a family history of cancer.
What does the follow up include?
1. X-rays of the chest
Patients having a history of Ewing's sarcoma, chondrosarcoma, or other osteosarcomas should have their chest X-rays taken since they are more prone to spread to the lungs.
2. Blood tests
Blood tests are done in the case of osteosarcoma to look for levels of ALP (alkaline phosphatase) in the blood since some patients with osteosarcoma have greater amounts of ALP. It's a substance that's created in the bone and picked up by the blood.
3.MRI or CT scans
Although it may not be part of the follow-up plan, doctors advise it if new signs of bone problems appear.
What is the frequency of a patient's check-ups?
For the first couple of years, checkups should be done every three months. Then, over the next five years, every two years. Doctors recommend a checkup once a year if there has been consistent improvement and no signs of the tumour returning. In addition, if new problems arise, the patient can contact health care immediately rather than waiting for the next appointment.