What Happens After Treatment for Liver Cancer?
After you have finished treatment, your health care team will still watch you closely. Here are some things to keep in mind after treatment:
- Follow-up visits are important. You should go to all follow-up appointments because your health care team will want to check that the cancer has not returned or spread.
- During these visits, health care providers will conduct physical exams, ask about any symptoms, and order blood tests (such as AFP levels, liver function tests) or imaging tests (such as ultrasound, CT, or MRI scans).
- For people who have had surgery or a liver transplant and show no evidence of cancer, most health care providers recommend follow-up with imaging tests and blood tests every 3 to 6 months for the first 2 years, then follow-up tests every 6 to 12 months.
- At your follow-up appointments, tell your health care team about any side effects you may be having. They may be able to help reduce some of these effects.
- It is important to keep your health insurance, because you will need to go for regular visits with your health care team for many years.
What If I Move or Have to Change Health Care Providers?
If you have to see a new health care provider after your treatment is finished, it is important that you give your new provider all of the details of your diagnosis and treatment. Keep this information handy in a special folder or binder:
- Copies of blood test results, imaging tests (CT or MRI scans) and liver biopies, which can usually be stored on a CD or DVD
- If you had surgery, a copy of your surgery report(s)
- If you stayed in the hospital, a copy of the discharge summary that health care providers prepare when patients are sent home
- If you had radiation therapy, a summary of the type and dose of radiation and when and where it was given
- If you had chemotherapy or targeted oral therapy, a list of your drugs, drug doses, and when you took them
- If you had a liver transplant, a copy of all surgery reports and discharge summary