More About Head & Neck Cancers Minus iconIcon indicating subtraction, or that the element can be closed. Plus IconIcon indicating addition, or that the element can be opened. Arrow (down) icon.An arrow icon, usually indicating that the containing element can be opened and closed.

Follow-Up Care for Head and Neck Cancer

At Memorial Sloan Kettering, one of our priorities is to continue to check in with you once your active treatments are over. We want to be sure that you’re healing well and managing any side effects. We also watch for any signs that the cancer is returning.

We offer comprehensive follow-up care for people who’ve been treated here as part of our institution-wide Survivorship Initiative.

A nurse practitioner who specializes in the care of head and neck cancer survivors may work with your doctors to provide your follow-up care. In addition to monitoring you for signs of cancer recurrence, your team will focus on identifying, preventing, and controlling any long-term and late effects associated with your treatment.

During a survivorship follow-up, we may:

  • perform a physical exam and review your medical history
  • complete an assessment to detect a recurrence of cancer
  • identify, evaluate, and manage any long-term or late effects of cancer and its treatment (both physical and psychological)
  • discuss methods to prevent new health problems and make health recommendations related to nutrition, exercise, and quitting tobacco use
  • recommend appropriate cancer screening or genetic testing for other cancers

In addition to working closely with your treatment team, we can provide a treatment summary and Survivorship Care Plan to you, your primary care doctor, and other medical providers. Your doctors can then incorporate this information into your overall medical plan. After each visit, we will update your other medical providers.

As your need for these follow-up visits decreases, we may recommend that you shift your care to your primary care doctor or another specialist.

Your Follow-Up Care Provider

 Janet T. McKiernan, NP

I am a nurse practitioner with special training in head and neck cancer survivorship issues. I graduated from Molloy College’s nurse practitioner program and have worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering since 1990.