STEP 5: Care after initial treatment and recovery

Consider referral to an occupational therapist, orthotist/prosthetist and a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist.

  • Healing of underlying structures, infection and other complication risks relating to skeletal implants may require input from wound nurse specialists and infection control specialists.
  • Patients who have had a limb amputated require rapid access to prosthetic services.

Evaluation for postoperative rehabilitation is recommended for all patients with extremity sarcoma. Rehabilitation should be continued until maximum function is achieved and highly integrated with the treating medical team.

Provide patients with the following:

Treatment summary (provide a copy to the patient/carer and general practitioner) outlining:

  • diagnostic tests performed and results
  • tumour characteristics
  • type and date of treatment(s)
  • interventions and treatment plans from other health professionals
  • supportive care services provided
  • contact information for key care providers.

Follow-up care plan (provide a copy to the patient/carer and general practitioner) outlining:

  • medical follow-up (tests, ongoing surveillance)
  • care plans for managing late effects
  • a process for rapid re-entry to medical services for suspected recurrence.

Communication – lead clinician to:

  • explain the treatment summary and follow-up care plan to the patient/carer
  • inform the patient/carer about secondary prevention and healthy living
  • discuss the follow-up care plan with the GP.