Long-term follow-up for children’s cancer survivors typically begins when patients are in remission and fully recovered from the immediate effects of treatment. Often, this is about two years after completion of treatment. In long-term follow-up, the goal is to help former patients stay as healthy as possible and to do well in school and eventually at work. It is important for all survivors to continue to have regular medical care for life. This is often called survivorship care. There are various ways that survivorship care may be provided in your community, including:
- The same doctor or clinic where the original cancer treatment was given
- A specialized Long-Term Follow-Up Program for children’s cancer survivors
- A healthcare provider in the local community (often working in partnership with the original treatment center)
- Long-term follow-up clinical care provided by a nurse practitioner
Ideally, survivorship care will be provided by specialists in survivorship medicine who understand the unique needs of children’s cancer survivors. However, when a survivorship program is not available, a local primary care physician can work in partnership with the original treatment center or other long-term children’s cancer specialists to provide the recommended follow up care.