Your doctor will want to see you after your treatment to see how you are. They may call this a follow up appointment.
This is an opportunity to tell them about any symptoms or treatment side effects. But if anything is troubling you between check-ups, do contact the hospital and ask for an earlier appointment.
How often you have these appointments varies.
After surgery to remove bile duct cancer
You’ll probably see your surgeon every 3 months for the first couple of years. This is to check for signs of the cancer coming back. If all’s well, then the appointments may be 6 monthly after that.
Your doctor will examine you and ask how you’re feeling. You will have scans or blood tests from time to time. Sometimes, bile duct cancers produce markers that circulate in the blood. Your doctor can test for these – called CEA and CA-19-9. If the level in the blood rises, it could be an early sign of the cancer coming back. You may have blood tests to check these levels every 6 months.
For bile duct cancer that can not be removed
You may have appointments more often. Or your doctor may suggest that you ring for an appointment if you need one. Do call if you have any new symptoms – or if you need advice on coping with symptoms or treatment side effects.
If you have advanced cancer, your doctor may refer you to a specialist team for advice on controlling symptoms. How often you see them will depend on your needs. They’ll give you a number to call if you need to contact them between appointments.
Content last reviewed: October 2022
Next review date: October 2025