Today, there are more childhood cancer survivors than ever before, thanks to early diagnosis and extraordinary treatment options. Now that you have come through a cancer diagnosis and treatment, you may have questions about your long-term care and the long-term side-effects of treatment, both physical and emotional. We know that all cancer as well as blood and marrow transplant (BMT) survivors need follow-up care no matter how many years it’s been since they last had cancer treatment.
Our Childhood Cancer Survivor Program provides health care to survivors of childhood and young adult cancers, in conjunction with primary care providers and regardless of where cancer treatment was received.
Survivorship: life after cancer
- Late-effects screening
- Physical exams and laboratory tests
- Review of your prior cancer treatments and related health problems
- Referral and coordination of late-effects related care
- Treatment summaries with a health care plan for the future (called a Survivor Care Plan) for each cancer survivor and his or her primary care provider and any other involved member of the survivor’s health care team.
We want to help you stay as healthy as possible. That’s why we adopt a team approach, and include your primary care physician and other medical providers as necessary to ensure you get the care you need. The program also features education – for survivors, their families and the medical community – about the possible long-term effects of cancer treatment or of BMT, and what screenings are needed to maintain a healthy, active life.
University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital specialists in our program work with you to identify and manage the effects of childhood cancer and its treatments. There is a strong emphasis on educating survivors and families so most appointments take 1-2 hours and may include a visit with a social worker that specializes in childhood cancer survivors’ well-being. Educational topics focus on your specific risks for late-effects and the appropriate screenings and interventions needed to keep you stay healthy and ensure that you have the highest quality of life possible.
As survivors grow older and approach young adult ages (20-25 years), yearly visits will transition from the Journey Clinic (pediatric clinic) to the Masonic Cancer Clinic for adult patients. This allows our providers to deliver the most age-appropriate care and ensure that if there is ever a need for an adult sub-specialist (i.e. adult cardiologist, adult psychologist, etc.), we have such providers and clinics in close proximity.
We also invite survivors and families to participate in leading-edge research opportunities specific to childhood cancer survivorship. These are always completely optional but for those interested, it allows survivors and families a chance to make a lasting difference in the treatments used for the next generation of childhood cancer patients/families.
The Childhood Cancer Survivor Program is available to all childhood and young adult cancer survivors regardless of your current age, diagnosis or where you received cancer treatment. Childhood survivors are eligible five years after diagnosis or three years after blood and marrow transplant and must have had cancer before the age of 25 years.