[Post-treatment follow-up of head and neck cancer patients]

Cancer Radiother. 2019 Oct;23(6-7):576-580. doi: 10.1016/j.canrad.2019.06.006. Epub 2019 Aug 14.
[Article in French]


Post-therapeutic follow-up of patients with head and neck cancer involves numerous professionals. The radiation oncologist should play an active role in this process. His oncological knowledge and technical expertise position him as a cornerstone for the detection of recurrences from the treated tumor, the research of second primary cancers and the screening of potential side-effects induced by the different treatments administered. To improve the benefits/costs ratio and allow good patient-compliance, follow-up programs should be built through close collaboration between the different contributors and planned according to a feasible schedule. Paraclinical exams must be arranged to respond to accurate objectives. Patient-education is essential to ensure the patient's full understanding and active participation. Finally, the transfer of the long-term follow-up of cancer survivors from specialists to primary care physicians is relevant but would require a prospective evaluation of its efficiency for this specific population.

Keywords: Cancer; Follow-up; Head and neck; ORL; Radiotherapy; Radiothérapie; Surveillance.

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare / methods*
  • Aftercare / organization & administration
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / diagnosis*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation
  • Physician's Role*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiation Oncologists*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Transitional Care