Cancer survivorship begins at the moment a child or adolescent is diagnosed with cancer. Once diagnosed, the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center (CBCC) staff will support patients as they navigate life as cancer survivors (until age 18 or graduation from high school or college).
Patients move through three phases of cancer survivorship:
- Diagnosis/active cancer treatment
- Transition (begins when active cancer treatment ends and lasts for two years; during transition, patients are closely monitored in the survivorship clinic)
- Survivorship care of late effects (begins when transition phase ends; patients are enrolled into the Passport for Care® Survivorship Care Plan and receive a comprehensive treatment summary of their medical history that will follow them through their lifetimes; patients will be seen annually in the survivorship clinic at the CBCC until they reach age 18 or graduate from high school or college; patients are then referred to adult cancer survivorship resources in their communities)
Who We Are
The survivorship clinic exists to improve the quality of life of childhood cancer survivors by addressing medical and psychosocial issues through multidisciplinary care.
Survivors of childhood cancer require lifelong follow-up care for the screening, prevention, and treatment of late effects of their cancer therapy.
Once active cancer treatment ends at the CBCC, a patient is introduced to the survivorship team. Along with the patient’s primary oncologist, the survivorship team monitors the patient closely for the next two years (called the “transition phase”). Generally, once transition ends, patients will be seen in the survivorship clinic until they reach age 18 or graduate from high school or college*. Patients are then referred to Seton’s ACCESS AYA Program (After Cancer Care Ends Survivorship Starts for Adolescents and Young Adults), which follows patients from 18 through 39 years of age.
*Some patients may be transferred later and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
What We Do
The survivorship team provides the following services upon a patient’s first visit to the survivorship clinic.
- Reviews patient’s past treatment, conducts a thorough screening and health evaluation, and discusses current problems or concerns
- Enrolls patient in the Passport for Care® Survivorship Care Plan to create a permanent medical record for patient to present to future healthcare professionals. This medical record includes all medical information related to diagnosis, any potential long-term problems, and recommendations for patients and their primary care providers.
After the patient’s first visit, the survivorship team recommends a follow up schedule based on Children’s Oncology Group guidelines and provides the following services during subsequent visits.
- Discusses patient’s progress and monitors for late effects (problems that can happen after cancer treatment); other services may be provided, including a visit with a dietitian
- Schedules laboratory procedures, radiological imaging, or other tests as needed
The survivorship team helps to empower young survivors to take charge of their health, so they can lead happy, fulfilling lives. We do this by educating cancer survivors about their individual cancer treatments and teaching them how to maintain good health and manage late effects that may arise after cancer treatments.