Smiling female doctor wearing labcoatMany cancer survivors find living with the fear of recurrence challenging. Knowing what to expect from your health care team and also what you can do may help.

More often than not, the more time that passes, the less likely it is that your cancer will recur (come back). For this reason, you will have more follow-up appointments the first year after your treatment and then, as each year passes and you are cancer free, you will see your oncologist (cancer doctor) less.

After a while, your oncologist (cancer doctor) will transfer your care to your family doctor. This means that you will continue your cancer screening tests with your family doctor.

If you do not have a family doctor, get one.

Cancer research can provide a rough sense of the likelihood of recurrence for you based on the stage of your cancer, details about the tumour, the treatment you had, and other risk factors, but research results cannot help your doctor know for sure if your cancer will return and/or if you will get another type of cancer.

If you would like to know what research has shown the likelihood of recurrence is for groups of people with cancer(s) and treatments like yours, ask your doctor at your follow-up appointment.


Last reviewed: 1/4/2018
Last modified: 7/21/2021 1:09 PM