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Comprehensive Care for Childhood Cancer Survivors

At University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s, we fully understand the challenges linked with surviving cancer. Years or even decades after cancer treatment has ended, cancer survivors may experience long-term effects of cancer treatment and health issues. This not only has clinical implications, but can also affect the patient’s overall well-being. Some survivors experience depression or may have trouble connecting to school, work or friends.

We are passionate about supporting our childhood cancer patients in a comprehensive way that helps them live life to the fullest. At UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s, we offer each child superb cancer care that extends into young adulthood and beyond. We will be there as a child grows in order to assist with any concerns that may come up as a result of his or her cancer or cancer treatment. Our leading-edge physicians become partners in care for life with the children and their families.

Common Childhood Cancer Survivors Long Term Effects

Certain cancers and their treatment can cause long-term effects emotionally, physically and mentally. Our doctors closely monitor risk areas, and we use treatments that are least likely to harm the child’s growth and development. Late effects can impact the following areas:

  • Moods, feelings and actions: Some childhood cancer survivors experience emotional effects after treatment. This can include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Organ, tissue and body function: Depending on the type of pediatric cancer and treatment, your child may experience physical late effects. Certain treatments, like radiation, may harm healthy tissue while killing cancer cells.
  • Risk of second cancers: Childhood cancer survivors have a greater risk of developing second cancers later in life. It is critical to see your doctor regularly to catch any early warning signs.
  • Social and psychological adjustment: Some survivors may have trouble with social skills or maintaining healthy relationships. Psychological assessments are important to support the child’s social development.
  • Thinking, learning and memory: Cancer and cancer-fighting treatment can cause some cognitive effects. This can include the child’s ability to memorize, learn and think.

Leading-Edge Cancer Treatment Options Reduce Growth and Development Issues

Today, more than 80 percent of children with cancer survive at least five years. Many lead long, healthy lives well into adulthood. As survival rates for childhood cancers continue to improve, it becomes even more important to prevent long-term effects.

Cancer specialists at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital offer patients the most innovative advanced cancer treatment options available today – including Ohio’s first proton therapy center. Proton therapy holds unique promise for children with cancer. With extreme precision, proton therapy targets the cancer while avoiding healthy tissue and organs nearby.

Our Proton Therapy Center is one of the only proton centers in the world that is located on the same campus as a full-service, nationally ranked children’s hospital. Unlike other Proton Therapy Centers, our patients do not have to travel for treatment. Therapy is just an elevator ride away.

Studies of the causes of late effects have led to changes and advances in treatment. Our pediatric oncologists are at the forefront of childhood cancer care. Many active research projects are focused on protecting growth and development and preventing long-term effects.

Survivorship Clinic

Health issues such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, depression and obesity can afflict cancer survivors. Some adolescents and young adults may have trouble finding employment, holding down a job, successfully integrating into society, or sustaining healthy relationships.

Dedicated to enhancing well-being throughout a patient’s life, the survivorship clinic offers:

  • Superior clinical care
  • Patient advocacy
  • Education
  • Survivorship research
  • Continuity of patient records and access to specialists in cancer survivorship

Passport for Care Offers Lifelong Access to Services

The innovative Passport for Care program provides life-long access to the following:

  • A patient’s electronic medical record of cancer care
  • Pediatric hematology and oncology physicians, nurses and other integral members of the care team
  • Cancer updates
  • Information about the latest treatments

Passport for Care includes a medical database for patients to use for readily accessible information. Through this program, patients have access to a personalized electronic record of their cancer care, a database of cancer research, and a national survey on lifestyle issues.

Survivor Advocacy Program

The Survivor Advocacy Program at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital’s Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute provides a wide range of educational opportunities for parents, families and teachers.

Team members work collaboratively to identify risk factors and help prevent problems. They also treat patients who have already developed problems associated with being a cancer survivor. We also advocate on behalf of cancer patients by lobbying for increased funding for childhood cancer research.

Every patient has devoted staff by their side throughout the entire journey – from the day you walk through the front door to the day you finish treatment and the many years after cancer has been cured.

Have Questions? Need to Talk? Ask Amelia.

Do you have questions about our program? Our AYA nurse navigator Amelia Baffa, RN, MSN is here to help. You can contact her directly to learn more about our facilities, support services, resources, meet-ups and more. Email Amelia to find out more about the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute.

Want to know more about our AYA nurse navigator, Amelia Baffa?