After active treatment is over, you’re encouraged to develop a survivorship care plan with your doctor. This plan will include a follow-up schedule of appointments to monitor for signs the cancer has returned or spread and to address the management of long-term or late effects. Let your doctor or nurse know about any new symptoms or issues between appointments, as they may indicate a recurrence or a second cancer.
Developing a second cancer after an anal cancer diagnosis is a possibility. Ask your doctor about your risk for the following:
- Cancer of the tongue
- Cancer of the tonsil
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulvar cancer
- Lung cancer
- Kaposi sarcoma
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (if diagnosed with anal cancer before age 50)
An important part of follow-up care is feeling good physically and emotionally. Your doctor or nurse can recommend other specialists, such as a sex therapist or dietitian, who can address your post-treatment concerns. Leading a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and decreasing your risks for contracting human papillomavirus (HPV), are also recommended.