Follow up care after lung cancer treatment is very important. Regular check-ups during the lung cancer recovery process ensure that changes in health are noticed. If there is a recurrence of lung cancer or a new cancer develops, it can be treated as soon as possible. Check-ups during the lung cancer recovery processmay include physical exams, chest x-rays, or lab tests. Between scheduled appointments, people who have had lung cancer should report any health problems to their doctor as soon as they appear.
After completion of therapy, a structured, individual follow-upprogram should be provided for every patient. In this follow-upprogram all responsible persons should be involved. The focusshould be the symptoms of the patients and psycho-oncologyand social counselling should be integrated.
Patients with lungcancer should be sustainably motivated toquitsmoking. To support patients in this effort, they should receiveeffective assistance for smoking cessation.
Posttherapeutic complications should be diagnosed and adequately treated in patients with curative treatment. The initialclinical presentation is recommended 4–6 weeks after completion of treatment, including a lung function test and the CO-diffusion capacity (DLCO).
After curative treatment, surveillance should occur every 3months during the first 2 years, every 6 months from year 3through year 5 and annually 5 years after treatment. These intervals begin with the first presentation 4– 6 weeks after completion of therapy. The visits include a detailed medical history, physical examination, and appropriate imaging procedures.
A general screening for brain metastases is not recommended, in high-risk patients, however, it is at the physician’s discretion.
After palliative treatment, response, side effects, and symptoms should be evaluated one month after completion of treatmenton the basis of medical history, physical examination and chest x-ray.
Clinical symptoms could lead to more imaging procedures. Clinical visits should be planned every 3 months. In patients withthe option for further treatment the follow-up intervals can bereduced to 6 - 8 weeks. Appropriate imaging procedures shouldbe used to detect a potential progress of the disease in time.