Cure rates for childhood cancer have improved dramatically over the past several years. Currently, 80 percent of children treated for cancer will become long-term survivors. As a result, pediatric cancer survivors are an emerging population at high risk for a variety of therapy-related complications.
The Long-Term Follow-Up/Thriving After Cancer Clinic serves patients who are two or more years from completion of their therapy. Our multidisciplinary team works with more than 500 children who are cancer survivors and gives them the tools and education they need to advocate for themselves.
Physical, emotional, nutritional and practical challenges of survivorship are addressed on an individual basis. Patients and families meet with an oncologist or nurse practitioner, nurse, psychologist, social worker and dietitian during each visit.
Various resources are reviewed with each patient and his or her family to provide guidance and education regarding potential late-treatment effects. Each patient also receives a detailed record of his or her treatment along with individualized information regarding possible late effects of therapy.
Complementary therapies, including massage, healing touch, biofeedback and cooking classes, are offered individually, in conjunction with our Integrative Medicine Program.
Healthy lifestyle choices are emphasized for the prevention of secondary malignancies, and to help reduce the impact of treatment-related side effects. Healthy recipes, snacks, books and other materials are displayed on a table near the Clinic’s entrance. An “integrative” dietitian is also available, who educates patients and families about the nutritional value of various foods and encourages patients to maintain a healthy weight.
The Peckham Center is currently following patients’ body mass indexes to assess the effect of our wellness program on obesity in long-term survivors.