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Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center publishes manual for childhood cancer survivors
Date:4/3/2008

With more than 270,000 childhood cancer survivors living in the United States, researchers have turned their attention to the effects of cancer treatment that can occur years after therapy, called late effects. At the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and Georgetown University Hospital, a team of oncologists, nurses, social workers and an art therapist have created the first survivorship manual, tailored for each child treated for cancer. The Next Step Crossing the Bridge to Survivorship is an educational guide designed to provide specific information related to long-term follow-up and survivorship.

The end of cancer treatment is a time of strong emotions for patients and families, says Aziza T. Shad, M.D., chief of the division of pediatric hematology oncology at Lombardi and the Hospital, and author of the manual. Celebration is often mixed with anxiety and loss of security. Most families feel overwhelmed and have many questions about the future. Shad, an internationally known pediatric oncologist, is the Amey Distinguished Professor of Neuro-oncology and Childhood Cancer at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Many of those questions center on the future health of the child. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery may all have late effects involving any organs or body systems. Some complications can be identified early during treatment and follow-up. The majority of late effects, however, become apparent many years after treatment is finished. Some late effects are easily treated, while others may become chronic.

Late effects are caused by injury to healthy cells as a result of cancer treatment. Just like every person reacts differently to treatment, late effects also vary from person to person and cancer to cancer, Shads manual explains. A lot depends on the types of therapy and the doses used. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy cause most of the late effects.

Some examples of late effects from treatment i
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
414-312-7085
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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