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Your follow-up appointments

Patient information A-Z

This leaflet is for patients moving on to a new stage in their cancer care. 'Follow-up' means what happens after you finish your cancer treatment, and how we support you. You may have completed your treatment whether it be surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or you may be on surveillance monitoring. Your follow-up care will be based on the type of cancer you have and you will have fewer outpatient appointments.

What happens at the end of my treatment?

During your follow-up, you might see a CNS or a consultant and you may be offered a telephone or virtual appointment. You may also be offered a patient-initiated follow-up (PIFU).

Instead of having a follow up appointment booked at a specific time in the future, your doctor/ nurse may order a patient initiated follow-up appointment for you. You will receive this in a letter or via MyChart (opens in a new tab). This will be explained by your medical team.

What is discussed during follow-up?

The aim of cancer follow-up is to make sure everything is going well for you. It is also a chance for you to talk about any concerns you may have. Having health-related problems can impact on many aspects of a person’s life. The physical challenges are often the most obvious, but feelings can also be a challenge.

A checklist of concerns also known as a holistic needs assessment (HNA) has been designed to help you discuss any worries or issues you may have, in addition to your diagnosis and on-going care. You may be offered one of these at the start of treatment, during treatment and during your follow up as your feelings and needs change. You may be offered an assessment via a cancer navigator or a member of your treating team.

Do I have to complete an assessment?

No. However, research shows that patients often have worries about symptoms or signs of disease recurring during their follow-up and that these rarely coincide with a clinic appointment. It is an opportunity for you to tell us what’s concerning you so we know how best to support you.

How do PIFU appointments work if I need to be seen?

The PIFU order has an expiry date (eg three, six or 12 months). If you would like to have a follow-up appointment within the timeframe set out in your PIFU appointment letter you will need to contact the hospital to book an appointment.

What happens when I no longer need to be seen?

At the end of your follow-up, you will be transferred to the care of your GP. You can be re- referred by your GP at any time.

You will be given a treatment summary highlighting signs and symptoms to be aware of and information about any tests required to monitor your health. This summary will help you understand your progress and it will be useful when dealing with other organisations such as insurance companies.

Your GP will also receive the treatment summary so you can refer to it later if necessary. During your follow up you may require blood tests, x-rays or computed tomography (CT) scans. The timing of these will be contained in the treatment summary and you will be told by your clinical nurse specialist (CNS), radiographer or navigator how you will receive the results of any tests.

Contacts / further information

If you wish to discuss your care, please speak with your treating team or navigator. They will provide you with their name and telephone number during treatment.

The CUH Cancer Support Service

The service is located on Level 2 in oncology & haematology outpatients; offering support, advice and information for anyone affected by cancer. It is staffed by the cancer support advisors. and as the service’s base are able to contact the navigator team for you, who are based elsewhere on site. They also have literature on cancer and support, including specific tumour sites, side effects, work, help for carers and the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis.

Telephone 01223 274801

  • Option 1: Navigators
  • Option 2: Cancer Support Pod Team

Email the Cancer Support Service
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 09:00 (9am) to 16:00 (4pm).


Drop into Maggie’s for practical, emotional and social support from professional staff. The centre is located on Puddicombe Way on the Addenbrooke’s Hospital site.

Telephone 01223 249220

Email Maggie's

Maggie's Website (opens in a new tab)

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 09:00 (9am) to 17:00 (5pm).

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151