Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond
Wellness Management for the Childhood Cancer or Adolescent Cancer Survivors
As a survivor of childhood cancer or adolescent cancer, you have special health
care needs that are different from the general population. You will require
life-long follow-up from a team that specializes in the care of childhood cancer
survivors. It is important that you are knowledgeable about the type of cancer
or cancers for which you were treated, as well as the treatment you received (radiation,
surgery, and/or chemotherapy agents). Furthermore, good preventative health
practices are vital in maintaining your current health. If you should have
long-term side effects from childhood cancer and treatment, early identification
of these late effects may lead to better outcomes.
Yesterday's childhood cancer patients are now growing into today's young
adult survivors. It is important to have close medical follow-up to detect
any problems that could be a consequence of having had cancer or its treatment.
This will certainly benefit your health and provide information for future developments
in the treatment of childhood cancers. This information could potentially
prevent these late effects in children currently receiving therapy.
Knowledge is power!
Your primary healthcare providers, as well as any other healthcare providers you
will require in the future, need to be aware of your medical history. Because
you were treated in your childhood or adolescence for cancer, you may not be aware
of the specifics of your treatment. A comprehensive written history of your
treatment is important for you to obtain from the center that treated your cancer.
The written summary of your history should include:
- Your specific type of cancer, with type, stage or prognostic group, and location
of the cancer
- All surgical procedures performed
- The names of all chemotherapy drugs used to combat childhood cancer and the total
doses you received
- Areas of your body that received radiation and how much radiation
each area received
- Latest test results done to monitor for side effects
Recommendations for future medical follow-up and schedule of tests and procedures
This written summary should be shared with each of your healthcare providers and
updated periodically with most recent test results. Your summary will be helpful
to your doctors as well as you, as it will alert you to your schedule for recommended
Make the decision to live as healthy as you possibly can. As a survivor of
cancer, you know you are vulnerable to the disease. If you are one of the
survivors of childhood cancer, why would you put yourself at risk for other
cancers or diseases as an adult if you could prevent it?
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco. Don't start. If you are a smoker or chew
tobacco, your healthcare provider can help you quit! Just ask!
- Do not drink illegally as a minor and drink responsibly when you are an adult, if
at all. And never, NEVER drink and drive or ride in a car with someone who is drinking
or using drugs.
- Make safe dating decisions. Don't allow yourself to be in a
situation that could get out of your control. If physically intimate, be sure to
protect yourself from infection.
- Make a choice to be physically active and avoid
excessive TV watching, computer use, or video games. Even walking is great
for your body.
- Avoid fad diets and junk foods. Eat a well-balanced diet
including lots of fruits and vegetables. We know that certain nutrients and
fiber in many fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains help to control weight in a healthy
way, keep blood fats balanced, and prevent cancer or cancer recurrence.
good care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing at least twice a day.
Have preventive dental care visits twice a year.
- Make sure your immunizations
(vaccinations) are up-to-date. They will protect you from some life-threatening
- Make safety your priority! Always wear your seatbelt in a car, and wear helmets
when biking, skating, rollerblading, and horseback riding.
- Maintain your mental health by focusing on positive relationships with friends and
family. Set education and career goals and work towards these. Find
healthy ways to deal with stress. And by all means, don't hesitate to see
a counselor if sadness, depression, or anxiety interfere with your life.
- Do not join a gang or carry a weapon and avoid those who do. Steer clear of
drugs- don't use or sell them! Avoid violent people and violent situations
at all times.
Information provided by the
High Five Clinic at The Children's Hospital of the Cleveland Clinic.
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional
about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained
in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute
for medical advice.
Chemocare.com is designed to provide the latest information about chemotherapy to patients and their families, caregivers and friends. For information about the 4th Angel Mentoring Program visit www.4thangel.org