Follow-up examinations are important!

Depending on the stage at the time of diagnosis, the rate of recurrence for ovarian cancer (reappearance of the disease) is relatively high. Therefore, once the treatment is completed, follow-up examinations are important. Especially in the first 2 years, the risk of disease recurrence is relatively high. That is why follow-up examinations are performed every 3 months during this period. Thereafter, follow-up examinations will be performed 6-monthly and after a total of 5 years every 12 months.

See your doctor!

During these visits, your treating physician will ask you about your medical condition and any problems you may have. The visits also include a physical and gynaecological examination and/or blood tests. For epithelial ovarian cancer, CA-125 is the most commonly used biomarker. Some physicians may not routinely check the biomarker CA-125, since it is not proven that further treatment, based on elevated CA-125 values alone, will indeed have any advantages for the patient. Computed tomography (CT) in certain intervals is also a common practice in follow-up care.

Additional examinations

If you do have complaints and/or findings of the clinical examination or if the laboratory tests or the examination through imaging techniques are suspicious, it is possible that your treating physician will order additional examinations (such as X-ray examination, computed tomography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging) for further evaluation. However, not all physical complaints are attributed to cancer recurrence. The complaints could also be adverse effects caused by a previous anti-cancer treatment, such as numbness in fingers and feet following chemotherapy with the substance group of taxanes.