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Long Term Follow Up Program for Childhood Cancer Survivors | Health

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Long Term Follow Up Program for Childhood Cancer Survivors
Long Term Follow Up Program for Childhood Cancer Survivors

For those children who survive cancer, the battle isn’t always over after remission.

That’s why Nevada’s only nonprofit pediatric cancer outpatient center is now offering a program to specifically meet the needs of childhood cancer survivors. The Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada, a program of the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, has created the Long Term Follow Up program for all childhood cancer survivors.  The personalized health screenings and long-term health monitoring are designed to keep survivors healthy far into their adult lives.

You might be wondering if a patient already has survived cancer, why they need a Long Term Follow Up program. The chemotherapy, radiation or surgery which brought about cancer remission can also have side effects months or years after remission. Educating the patient about these risks, conducting annual monitoring, and helping the patient easily share their treatment history with other medical professionals in the future is all part of the plan to keep them healthy.

“With the advances in research and treatments, more children are winning the fight against childhood cancer, however, for many children the fight does not end with remission, it continues on in the form of late or long-term effects,” said Annette Logan, President and Executive Director of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation.

In addition to health screenings, the Long Term Follow Up program also includes the creation of a Passport for Care®.  It stores a patient’s cancer therapy history and possible late effects with the intention it be shared with medical professionals who may be unaware of the patient’s early childhood cancer diagnosis.

Originally developed by Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine, the Passport for Care® is now an initiative of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a collection of the nation’s best oncology providers and treatment centers. COG believes the best way to keep childhood cancer survivors healthy far into the future is to continuously monitor their health as adults.

Studies have shown most Americans change primary care doctors every two years. Primary care providers, however, are often unfamiliar with the details of a patient’s prior cancer treatment or the recommendations to assess for long-term complications of cancer and cancer therapies.

Because Cure 4 The Kids Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide appropriate care to all children facing life threatening conditions, no child is ever turned away from receiving appropriate care. Childhood cancer survivors who may have difficulty paying for care through the Long Term Follow Up program will also receive services regardless of ability to pay.

The Long Term Follow Up program is available through the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada - Las Vegas clinic. Like all programs currently available in Las Vegas, Cure 4 the Kids Foundation is working to offer identical services in the Reno clinic.

To make an appointment with the Long Term Follow Up program, childhood cancer survivors can call (702) 732-3330 to speak with the new patient coordinator. Jennifer Buitrago, RN, MSN, CPNP and CPON is the program coordinator.