Are You Prepared for the Future?

Talk to your doctor about what your follow-up care plan will look like. This plan should include how often you will need to return to the doctor, which doctor you will see and what tests you might receive. Generally, survivors return to the doctor every 3 to 4 months during the first 2 to 3 years after treatment, and once or twice a year after that. During these visits, you and your doctor will discuss any side effects you may be experiencing and check if your cancer has returned or spread. For many people, these visits can cause anxiety, sometimes known as “scanxiety.” Connecting with other lung cancer patients who have been in your shoes is one helpful way to manage this stress.

Now is also a good time to discuss what your care looks like in the future. During lung cancer treatment, it can be overwhelming for patients and caregivers to spend time planning for the future. Take the time now to fill out appropriate paperwork, including an advance directive. Make time to talk to your care team and family about what you want your care to look like in the future. There may come a time when it will be more difficult to communicate this, so talk about these needs now. Also, be sure to manage any other medical problems you may have and continue to get the appropriate cancer screening.

Page last updated: December 4, 2020

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