Approximately 325,000 survivors of childhood cancer live in the United States today. Because treatments are curing more children and teens than ever before, that number will increase every year. The majority of survivors face emotional or physical late effects from the chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation that cured their cancer. Below are a few excerpts from childhood cancer guides about survivorship.
From the Book
Cancer Survivor Treatment Record A printable Cancer Survivor's Treatment Record entitled "Taking Care of Yourself for Life" helps keep track of your medical history for childhood cancer. Have your doctor complete the summary of treatment and guidelines for health monitoring that may reduce your chances of medical problems in the future.
Jobs Survivors of cancer may face job discrimination, but there are ways to decrease the likelihood of this happening and to deal with it when it does.
Emotions Improved treatment for childhood cancer is a huge success story in modern medicine. It is now known, however, that survivors and their families often face many physical and psychological challenges after cure.
Transitions Periods of change can evoke anxiety and require time for adjustment. For survivors, transitions involve medical, psychological, social, and educational change.
Free or Low-Cost Medicine Programs Survivors often need expensive medications, and they sometimes cannot afford them. Most major drug companies have patient-assistance programs, and you can apply to obtain free or low-cost prescription drugs.
Other Items of Interest
Follow-Up Clinics 2012's list of follow-up clinics for childhood cancer survivors has been published.
ASCO Article – At the 2012 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, researchers reported that only 6% of primary care providers were aware of the late effects associated with four common drugs used to treat children with cancer.
The NEJM Article The New England Journal of Medicine published two important articles on survivorship in October 2006. One concerns chronic health conditions in adult survivors of childhood cancer and the other describes the two-edged sword of cure. Both emphasize the need for life-long care after childhood cancer.
Insurance PowerPoint from Navigating Cancer Survivorship (PDF) – This presentation was delivered at the 2012 annual meeting of Critical Mass: The Young Adult Cancer Alliance. It is reprinted in its entirety with permission from its author, Monica Fawzy Bryant, Esq., with the caveat that insurance options in the United States are rapidly changing.
Coping Magazine Article – an article written by Keene, Hobbie, and Ruccione was printed in the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Coping magazine. The article is called “Now that You’ve Beaten Childhood Cancer, It’s Time to Get Serious About Follow-Up Care.”