Surveillance and Supportive Care
May also be known as ‘watch and wait’, ‘watchful waiting’ or ‘follow up’
Surveillance through clinic review, bloods and scans, can be used to assess how well you are and whether treatment is needed, the effect of treatment OR to monitor your health and cancer in periods between treatments (which may be months/years).
Not everyone with Neuroendocrine Cancer will need to be on treatment – and though that may seem strange – it may also be a relief.
Surveillance can be used to check your cancer and general health for any signs of change that may mean that a treatment might need to be considered.
All treatments have possible side-effects, therefore, it is important to know when treatment may be helpful for you or not. Do the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks?
Surveillance is also used to assess how well a treatment is working or has worked – it forms part of follow up care.
Supportive care, Symptom control or ‘Palliation’ refers to what is used to alleviate or reduce the impact your cancer, other health issues and /or treatments may be having on you and your physical and mental health.
It can include anything from simple medication and / or a combination of some of the treatments mentioned here to counselling and practical support.
Managing symptoms and ensuring your mental/emotional well-being is an important part of total care – and therefore supportive care occurs from diagnosis, through surveillance and / or treatments and is not just for ‘end-of-life’.