Head and neck cancer

A place for people affected by head and neck cancers, including oral, throat , larynx (voice box), salivary glands, middle ear, and sinus and nasopharyngeal cancer. Support one another, ask questions, and share experiences.

What happens when the treatment finishes?

Posted by

Hi all, just a quick question.What happens when the treatment finishes? My husband is half way through his treatment for tonsil cancer. He has  3 more chemo & 15 more radio sessions to go. Will he go for a CT or MRI scan to ensure it has totally gone? He didn't have surgery on the affected tonsil just had the other one removed. 

Thanks in advance 


Niki x

Posted by

There will be a delay of several months before a scan is done in all likelihood Niki if my experience and that of others is anything to go by. They need to let the damage done by the RT settle down a bit before they can get an accurate picture of what's happened, I think the normal delay is about three months.

It's a very difficult time for many (certainly was for me) going from constant attention to being "cast adrift" and many (again me included) can suffer from depression so keep an eye out for any signs of that. He'll most likely have a check every month in the meantime though when the docs will go by feel and endoscope images. Hope you're both coping so far, not an easy ride but lots of us here to attest to the fact that it can be done.

 What is a Community Champion?

Metastatic SCC of right medial piriform fossa plus four malignant lymph nodes diagnosed 8th October 2013. Modified radical neck dissection November, thirty-five radiotherapy fractions with 2xCisplatin chemo Jan/Feb 2014.


Posted by

Hi Niki.  I agree with MikeO, my husband had a wait of about 3 months before he had another scan.  That showed him to be in remission (hurray) and he’s now on 3/4 month appointments to keep an eye on things.  Good luck 


Posted by

Hi nikki

it does vary from hospital trust depends on their policies in my case my oncologist insisted on 16 weeks as in his words sometimes hot spots can remain if done too soon,someone else I knew had a scan at 10 weeks .my scan was a full bells n whistles one with contrast a pet ct scan others sometimes have just m r I .so does depend on your hospitals policy. 

I have a blog www.radioactiveraz.wordpress.com detailing with my tonsil cancer h p v 16+ cancer. It’s a blow by blow account of what I’ve done am niw 9 month post radiotherapy.

best wishes.



Posted by

Hi Niki, the hospitals often seem to expect that GPs and District Nurses will take over most of the care after main treatment has finished. (Apart from the regular check-ups mentioned above). I wish we had known this before my husband was sent home, as we could not get an appointment with the GP for weeks, and the GP wanted to see him before renewing some of the prescriptions from the hospital. So my top tip would be to make contact with your GP practice now, and find out how they expect to pick up care - maybe also ask the hospital team about this.

The district nurses were fabulous to us- my husband still needed some wound care, so they came in to do this, and were generally very supportive. We also were still able to call the Macmillan nurse, which was reassuring.