There are approximately 300,000 survivors of childhood cancer in the United States, and most of them receive their medical care from primary care physicians. Adult survivors of childhood cancer are at considerable risk of long-term morbidity and mortality beyond the recurrence of their primary malignancy. Late adverse effects can impair organ function, stunt growth and development, and cause neurocognitive dysfunction and secondary malignancies. To address the need for systematic, comprehensive care of this expanding high-risk patient population, the Children's Oncology Group has developed long-term follow-up guidelines. Proper use of these guidelines will allow primary care physicians to understand a patient's individual risk, provide additional screening as needed, and identify late adverse effects of childhood cancer early. The foundation of the care of an adult survivor of a childhood cancer is a complete, accurate account of the patient's cancer and subsequent therapy in the form of a Summary of Cancer Treatment. A complete Summary of Cancer Treatment allows a primary care physician to use the longterm follow-up guidelines to create an individualized care plan. This article will review the late adverse effects of childhood cancer therapy and the transition of patients from pediatric oncologists to physicians in adulthood, and explain how primary care physicians can use these tools to provide appropriate care to adult survivors of childhood cancer.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||American Family Physician|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Family Practice