We have updated our Online Services Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. See our Cookies Notice for information concerning our use of cookies and similar technologies. By using this website or clicking “I ACCEPT”, you consent to our Online Services Terms of Use.

How to Help Your Child Thrive After Cancer

Share
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Email
Print
University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children'sExperts in Children's Health
A mother kisses her smiling daughter on the forehead

A child who has conquered cancer has much to look forward to. But as a parent, you know challenges still lie ahead.

“Regular follow-up care after treatment ends is crucial to helping your child thrive,” says Lisa Hackney, MD, Director of the Pediatric Oncology Survivorship Program at University Hospitals.

Long-Term Strategies for Parents

Children often face long-term complications as a result of cancer or the treatments they received. These problems may affect many facets of their lives and their bodies, including their growth, reproductive and sexual development, and lung and heart health. Some children may develop learning difficulties or emotional problems. Childhood cancer survivors are also more likely to develop cancer later in life.

Here are some strategies parents can utilize to help their child thrive:

Develop and follow a long-term plan. Even though cancer-free, your child will need follow-up care throughout life to look for any recurrent or new cancer, as well as side effects or complications from treatment. “It’s important to find a provider who is trained in the late effects of childhood cancer to maintain long-term health,” says Dr. Hackney. “The follow up is different for each patient and depends on the type of cancer and treatment, overall health status, genetic factors and other health habits.”

Keep careful medical records. Be sure to note details of the diagnosis, treatments, side effects and any complications. Provide copies to any new healthcare providers your child visits while growing into adulthood. This medical history is invaluable to understand any future health issues. Ideally, the hospitals that treats your child will provide this at the conclusion of treatment.

Start good habits early. Keep your child robust by encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Teach the importance of avoiding smoking, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, and getting plenty of regular exercise.

Keep your child emotionally fit. You know the emotional toll your child’s illness took on you and your child. Nurture emotional well-being by encouraging your child to talk about their feelings. See whether your child is comfortable speaking with a counselor to deal with depression, stress, anxiety or fear of the illness returning. Support groups can also help young cancer survivors cope with emotional effects.

Parents of cancer survivors understand what a precious gift life is. Use that information to make each day a healthy one for your child to thrive.

Related Links

At UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s, we offer each child the best cancer care that extends into young adulthood and beyond. Learn more.

Share
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Email
Print
Subscribe
RSS