The Patient Pathway
7. After Treatment
Usually 2-6 weeks after your last treatment visit you will meet with your radiation oncologist or the doctor that referred you to ARO. Your GP will also be sent a report about your treatment and will continue to provide for your general health needs. You are welcome to contact our patient care team to answer questions or concerns that you may have about your treatment or possible side effects up to 2 weeks following your last treatment visit. Please phone our nurses on 09 623 6585, email firstname.lastname@example.org or make an appointment during business hours. Should you require support after 2 weeks, please contact the ARO Specialist Centre on phone 09 623 6587 or email email@example.com. For all other health concerns, please contact your GP, usual healthcare provider or local emergency facility. Click read more to learn more and download information by treatment site e.g. breast, prostate. This includes information on possible side effects and self care advice by treatment site.
The peak of any side effects experienced may occur around 7 to 14 days after the completion of your radiation therapy. This is due to the cumulative nature of the treatment. Most side effects only last a few weeks but some of the effects, such as tiredness, may last for a couple of months after the end of your treatment. However, you should gradually start to feel like yourself again.
For two weeks after completing treatment we advise that you continue with any special skin care instructions. Please also:
- Avoid direct sunlight on the treated area.
- Avoid hot pools and spa pools until any skin reaction has completely healed.
The skin in the treatment area will always be more sensitive to the sun:
- Apply sun-block with a SPF of 30 or higher to any exposed and previously treated skin if you are going to be out in the sun.
- If you have experienced a skin reaction do not apply sunscreen to the treated skin until it has completely healed.
If your diet has been modified during your radiation therapy treatment we recommend you gradually return to your normal eating habits after seven days, unless otherwise advised by your doctor. We also recommend you maintain good hydration for at least two weeks after your treatment is complete.
Long Term Side Effects
Most people return to “normal” after completion of their treatment, but a few patients experience some long term side effects. These can develop gradually over several months or years and will be monitored by your specialist team.
We value feedback, and are constantly striving to improve our care and service. Once you have completed treatment we may ask you to fill out a short online survey. However if at any time you wish to pass on a compliment or make a complaint please speak to one of our receptionists, or make a complaint in writing to the general manager of ARO who will discuss your concerns confidentially.