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58

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Ovarian Cancer, Version 1.2017

5

Treatment guide

Follow-up after initial treatment

Follow-up after initial treatment

Guide 10

shows the follow-up tests that are

recommended during observation and after

completing cancer treatment. Observation is a period

of testing to watch for cancer growth. Follow-up tests

are used to check for signs of cancer return (relapse)

or spread (metastasis). Doctors also use follow-

up tests to monitor your health and check for side

effects of treatment.

Follow-up tests

Follow-up tests are recommended every 2 to 4

months for 2 years, then every 3 to 6 months for 3

years, then once a year. Many of the tests used for

follow-up will be the same as those used to find and

confirm (diagnose) ovarian cancer.

The physical exam and pelvic exam help your doctor

check for physical signs that the cancer has come

back. Such signs may include swelling or bloating in

your belly, abnormal lumps, or sudden changes in

weight.

Blood tests to measure CA-125 or other tumor

markers are recommended if levels were high when

the cancer was first found. Rising CA-125 levels after

treatment may be an early sign that the cancer has

come back.

A CBC measures the number of each type of blood

cell in a sample of blood. A blood chemistry profile

may be done to check the health of certain organs

and body systems.

Imaging tests of your chest, abdomen, and pelvis

may be used to check if the cancer has spread. A

CT, MRI, PET, or PET/CT scan may be used. A chest

x-ray may be used to show if cancer has spread to

your lungs. If you had fertility-sparing surgery, then

ultrasound may be used to check for cancer in the

other ovary. Once you are finished having babies,

you should have surgery to remove the remaining

ovary, fallopian tube, and uterus. This is called

completion surgery.

Guide 10. Follow-up testing after treatment

Follow-up tests and schedule

Follow-up visits every 2 to 4 months for 2 years, then every 3 to 6 months for 3 years,

then once a year after 5 years with:

• Physical exam and pelvic exam

• CA-125 blood test or other tumor markers if initial results were high

• CBC and blood chemistry profile as needed

• CT, MRI, PET/CT of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis, or PET (bottom of the skull to mid-thigh) as needed

• Chest x-ray as needed

• Long-term wellness care