Current Pediatric Reviews

Giuseppe Buonocore
Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine
University of Siena
Siena
Italy

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Long-Term Survivors of Cancer in Childhood and Adolescence

Author(s): Stacey L. Urbach, Sharon Guger, Paul C. Nathan.

Abstract:

Significant improvements in the treatment of many pediatric malignancies have led to a growing population of long-term survivors of childhood cancer. Many of these survivors are at significant risk for late physical and psychosocial sequelae (“late effects”) as a result of their prior disease and its therapy. In some survivors (such as children treated for a brain tumor), late effects including endocrine dysfunction and neurocognitive challenges can develop during therapy and persist throughout life. In others (such as children and adolescents treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma), late effects including congestive heart failure, pulmonary fibrosis and secondary breast cancers may not occur for many years, often once survivors have reached adulthood. During childhood, survivor care usually occurs at the pediatric cancer center, often in a specialized long-term follow-up clinic. However, adult survivors are usually cared for by primary care practitioners in their own communities. It is essential that the health care providers who will care for childhood cancer survivors as they age be aware of each survivor’s treatment exposures, long-term risks, and the surveillance strategies suggested for monitoring for these late effects. Strategies for effective transition from pediatric care and for ongoing communication between primary care practitioners and pediatric cancer centers need to be implemented to ensure that childhood cancer survivors receive appropriate care focused on their specific risks throughout their lifespan.

Keywords: Childhood cancer, late effects, endocrine and neurocognitive dysfunction

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Article Details

VOLUME: 8
ISSUE: 2
Year: 2012
Page: [166 - 178]
Pages: 13
DOI: 10.2174/157339612800681271
Price: $58