After treatment for anal cancer

For most people, the cancer experience doesn’t end on the last day of treatment. Life after treatment for anal cancer has its own physical and emotional challenges. You may have mixed feelings when treatment ends, and worry that every ache and pain means the cancer is coming back.

Some people say they feel pressure to return to ‘normal life’, but they don’t want life to return to how it was before cancer. Take some time to adjust to the physical and emotional changes, and re-establish a new daily routine at your own pace.

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Follow-up appointments

After treatment, you will need check-ups every 3–12 months for several years to confirm that the cancer hasn’t come back. Between visits, let your doctor know immediately of any health problems.


Dealing with feelings of sadness

If you have continued feelings of sadness, have trouble getting up in the morning or have lost motivation to do things that previously gave you pleasure, you may be experiencing depression. This is quite common among people who have had cancer.

Talk to your GP, as counselling or medication – even for a short time – may help. Some people are able to get a Medicare rebate for sessions with a psychologist. Ask your doctor if you are eligible. Your local Cancer Council may also run a counselling program.

The organisation beyondblue has information about coping with depression and anxiety. Go to beyondblue.org.au or call 1300 22 4636 to order a fact sheet.


This information was last reviewed in June 201
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