About the Cancer Survivorship Program
Navigating life after childhood cancer
The news about childhood cancer survivors is getting better and better. Through clinical trials, pediatric oncologists have discovered treatments that can now cure almost 80 percent of children who are diagnosed with cancer. Currently, there are more than 328,000 pediatric cancer survivors living in the United States.
Here at the Cancer Center at Children's Hospital, we understand that patients who have finished treatment and whose disease is not likely to recur require specialized care in a clinic that focuses specifically on the needs of survivors. The Cancer Survivorship Program helps patients and families navigate life after cancer, including both the physical and emotional issues they may face.
We focus on survivors who are least five years post-diagnosis and at least two years after the completion of all cancer therapy. Some patients may come to us sooner if they are no longer at great risk for recurrence of their original disease. We are available for a one-time consultation or for visits on a regular basis.
In 1983, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia started the first program to care for and track long-term survivors of childhood cancers. Since that time, a team of doctors, nurses and psychologists has provided expert care to survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer who are experiencing or may be at risk for late effects of cancer treatment. Our clinic now follows more than 500 patients a year.
The main goals of the Cancer Survivorship Program are to:
- Improve the health and well-being of childhood cancer survivors by promoting adherence to a schedule of follow-up appointments and routine screening tests
- Educate patients, parents and healthcare professionals about the long-term effects of cancer treatment
- Provide referrals to specialists as needed
- Offer psychological counseling and guidance for school-related and neurocognitive concerns
- Facilitate the transition of patients to adult care when ready