For children and young adults who were diagnosed with a malignancy and have been finished with treatment for two years, the Cancer Survivorship Program at Mott Children’s Hospital eases the transition following the completion of active cancer treatment. We focus on the patient’s total well being, creating strategies to best manage any healthcare or personal issues that may arise.
Survivorship concerns may include:
- Changes in growth and development
- School issues
- Organ dysfunction
- Neurocognitive problems
- Impaired fertility
Our goal at the Pediatric Long-Term Follow-Up Clinic is to help childhood cancer survivors remain healthy after active treatment is completed. In addition to educating patients and their families about health concerns that may follow treatment, our multidisciplinary team also develops an individualized treatment summary and plan of care for each patient.
During the initial visit, the patient and family meet with all members of our team of childhood cancer survivor specialists, including a nurse practitioner, social worker, pediatric psychologist and dietitian. All team members have extensive education and training in the care of childhood cancer survivors. Patients may also see a pediatric oncologist or pediatric neuro-oncologist if needed.
In addition to a comprehensive physical exam to ensure the cancer hasn’t recurred, visits typically consist of:
- Review of cancer treatment, including a personalized cancer treatment history
- Monitoring for late-occurring side effects of cancer and/or cancer treatments
- Individualized health-care plan based on past treatment
- Psycho-social and educational assessment
- Diet and exercise recommendations
- Laboratory blood testing (as needed)
- Periodic testing of vital organs
- Referral to sub-specialties (as needed)
- Assistance with transition to adult health care
Survivorship care is a priority in cancer care. We are actively engaged in research to better understand the needs of cancer survivors so more effective strategies can be developed to address these needs in the future.