Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma: After Treatment

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 09/2013

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about your medical care after cancer treatment is finished and why this follow-up care is important. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

After treatment for AdCC ends, talk with your doctor about developing a follow-up care plan. This plan may include regular physical examinations and/or medical tests to monitor your recovery for the coming months and years.

People should have regular follow-up check-ups with their doctor to monitor the effects of treatment and to check for recurrences or distant metastases, which may occur even years after successful primary treatment. There is no known way to prevent recurrence of AdCC. A secondary cancer is rare after AdCC.

ASCO offers cancer treatment summary forms to help keep track of the cancer treatment you received and develop a survivorship care plan once treatment is completed.

People treated with surgery may need cancer rehabilitation to regain physical function and flexibility. Treatments to the head and neck can affect swallowing, and patients may experience pain. These symptoms can be treated with rehabilitative therapy and, in most cases, get better gradually over time.

Follow-up care by an oncologic dentist may be needed after radiation therapy. Sometimes, care may be given by a prosthodontist (a dental specialist with additional training and certification in the restoration and replacement of broken teeth with crowns, bridges, and removable prosthetics [dentures]) if major surgery to the mouth or jaw has taken place during treatment.

Some people may experience depression following treatment, and this may require specialized therapy as well. Most cancer centers have support groups that encourage people to become more informed about these issues. Learn more about the next steps to take in survivorship, including making positive lifestyle changes.

People recovering from AdCC are encouraged to follow established guidelines for good health, such as maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating a balanced diet, and having recommended cancer screening tests. Talk with your doctor to develop a plan that is best for your needs. Moderate physical activity can help rebuild your strength and energy level. Your doctor can help you create an appropriate exercise plan based upon your needs, physical abilities, and fitness level. Learn more about healthy living after cancer.

The next section offers a list of questions you may want to ask. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Questions to Ask the Doctor, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.