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.
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:
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 follow-up.
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?
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.