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Salivary Gland Cancer

What to Expect After Treatment is Completed

Once you have made it through treatment, you need to have close follow-up with your doctor. The current NCCN Guidelines recommend this follow-up plan after being treated for a salivary gland cancer:30Referenced with permission from The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Head and Neck Cancers V.2.2014. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc 2014. All rights reserved. Accessed June 18, 2014. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to www.NCCN.org. NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK®, NCCN®, NCCN GUIDELINES®, and all other NCCN Content are trademarks owned by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc.

  • Visit your head and neck specialist on a regular schedule (or earlier if you have any concerning symptoms). This allows your doctor to examine you for any signs that the cancer has come back.
    • For the first year, you should go every one to three months.
    • For the second year, you should go every two to six months.
    • For the third to fifth year, you should go every four to eight months.
    • After five years, you can start going every year.
  • Your doctor may select a scan to be performed in the first 6 months after treatment. The first scan serves as a “baseline” study for the purpose of comparing future studies. This will depend on the type and location of your cancer. Your imaging could range from something as simple as a quick chest X-ray to more extensive tests such as CT scans, MRI scans and PET scans. If something suspicious comes up, you might need another biopsy.
  • Have chest imaging to check for any signs of lung cancer if you have a smoking history and your doctor recommends imaging.
  • Check your thyroid function every six to twelve months if you ever had radiation to the neck area.
  • Get help with a therapist as needed for difficulties with speaking, hearing and swallowing.
  • Stop smoking and stop drinking.
  • See a dentist.
References

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30 Referenced with permission from The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Head and Neck Cancers V.2.2014. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc 2014. All rights reserved. Accessed June 18, 2014. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to www.NCCN.org. NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK®, NCCN®, NCCN GUIDELINES®, and all other NCCN Content are trademarks owned by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc.