I can only give you my experiences. Once I was done, I was DONE! Never went back for any followup and frankly, not sure why it is necessary. Honestly, if I was worried about vaginal stenosis from radiation, I wouldn't see the rad onc...rather I would go and see a gyn...one who has experience in pelvic radiation (remember women who are radiated for gynecological cancers as well as others in the pelvic region, such as bladder also have the same rad issues) and skip the rad onc. IMO, it's just another doc that is unnecessary (unless of course, you still have skin issues which I highly doubt this far out). Any potential radiation proctitis is best handled by a GI or your surgeon, any female rad issues by, again my opinion, by a GYN specialist.
What is the purpose of the visit? Does the rad onc say? If all he is doing is reviewing the onc's recommendations and you don't feel it is necessary, then I wouldn't go. At some point, we need to stop allowing the cancer to control our lives. I, for example, have had it with the onc visit - going one last time but that's it. It seems terribly redundant to have the onc's MA take my weight, BP, temp, pulse, etc., ask me questions about my medications, then have the onc listen to my heart/lungs and poke my tummy and check my ankles. I say it's redundant because every 6 months I see my surgeon for a rectal flex sig and their practice does all the above (with the exception of the tummy/ankles). I also see my GP twice a year and she does all those things and more. I stopped all of these overlapping appts long ago because I just thought that they were ridiculous and it just kept bringing to my attention that I was dxd with cancer. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should be lax about your health, but only you can decide whether or not you're getting 'overtreated'. If you're getting your blood levels drawn, having onc doc follow those results and are under the care of at least one doc, I personally don't see what the rad onc contributes....besides another copay and possibly more headaches.
Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
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