When you started your cancer treatment, you couldn't wait for it to end. But now that you've finished your treatment, you may not feel sure if you're ready for life after cancer. You may be feeling a mix of emotions – joy, worry, appreciation and confusion to name a few. It is normal to have these feelings.
It is important to let you health care practitioner know how you are adjusting to your “new normal”.
There are a number of supports available for cancer survivors. Before you finish your treatment ask your doctor or nurse about supports available for you.
Your Cancer doctor or nurse will review your survivorship care plan with you. This plan outlines:
- How often you should see your family doctor or nurse practitioner
- Tests you will need to have
- How to manage any side effects you have
- Emergency signs to watch for
- Healthy living tips
There is a general survivorship care plan to guide (PDF) for most patients and specific plans for people who have finished treatment for breast, colon, prostate, rectal and thyroid cancers.
You may want to talk to someone who has had the same kind of cancer you have. Call the Canadian Cancer Society to be matched with a Cancer Connection volunteer or attend a support group in your area, 1-800-639-333 or learn more about cancer support groups.
Follow up care videos
Finishing cancer treatment can be a time of highs and lows. For some people, going back to “normal life” or a “new normal” is not easy. Some people may feel lost because they are no longer receiving active treatment; others may have a hard time adjusting to not seeing their health care team regularly. Along with the relief you might feel at finishing your treatment, it is normal to have concerns about your recovery and your future. The Living Beyond Cancer Video Series provides information about what you can expect after your cancer treatment ends.
What is Follow up Care?
Short and Long Term Side Effects of Radiation Therapy
Short and Long Term Side-Effects of Chemotherapy
Practical Supports and Coping (Social Work)
Spiritual Care: Finding Meaning
Clinics, Programs, and Services
Patient Education Resources
Guide for cancer survivors describing recommended follow-up care and what to expect next. Supports and available resources are listed.
This pamphlet describing recommended follow-up care for breast cancer survivors and what to expect next. This pamphlet also includes available supports and resources.
This pamphlet describes the recommended follow-up care for colon cancer survivors. What to expect and a lists of available supports and resources is included.
This pamphlet describes the recommended follow-up care for survivors of rectal cancer. Topics include what to expect next and available supports and resources.
This pamphlet describes the recommended follow-up care for thyroid cancer survivors. What to expect next and a list of available supports and resources is also included.
This guide is for cancer patients who have been treated for prostate cancer. It describes a recommended follow-up care plan and includes supports and resources available to you.