In the past 40 years, medicine has made major advancements in the fight against pediatric cancer. A child diagnosed with cancer in 1970 had only a 10 percent chance of survival, whereas children diagnosed today have a nearly 80 percent chance. But for the more than 40,000 children who undergo treatment each year, their struggle does not end when their disease is eradicated. Three out of five who survive children's cancer suffer late-developing side effects as a result of their disease, its treatment, or both, which may include long-term medical, psychosocial and/or neurocognitive problems. To help the growing number of Gulf South children who are beating cancer yet facing potential treatment-related problems, Children's Hospital opened a Treatment After Cancer and Late Effects Center.
The center offers a comprehensive follow-up program to help childhood cancer survivors stay well. Through case-specific diagnostic tests and evaluations, Children's healthcare professionals are able to help patient families identify, understand, prevent and treat many of the maladies cancer survivors endure, including:
Heart problems, including an increased risk of heart arrhythmias
Blood vessel problems, including an increased risk of stroke or clots
Lung problems, which can cause difficulty breathing
Glandular problems such as thyroid problems
Bone problems, such as bone thinning (osteoporosis) and joint pain
Short stature, caused by slow bone growth or growth hormone deficiency
Reproductive health problems and infertility
Memory problems and learning disabilities
Increased risk of other types of cancers
What services does the Treatment After Cancer & Late Effects Center provide?
Thorough review of your medical record with a multi-disciplinary team.
Development of an individualized Survivor Care Plan - a "roadmap" or guide with past treatment information and late effects related to treatment.
Comprehensive health history and physical exam.
A "Survivor Handbook" - information on physical, emotional and daily living issues specific to cancer survivors.
Coordination between oncology and primary care physicians and specialists.
Assistance with social, emotional and daily living issues.
Navigation to national, community and online resources.
How does my oncologist relate to the Treatment After Cancer & Late Effects Center?
The Treatment After Cancer & Late Effects Center does not replace the relationship with your primary oncologist. You will be seen annually and can still follow-up with your oncologist for other cancer related issues.
What will happen on your first visit?
1. Our most important goal is to help survivors have a healthy and productive life.
2. At the visit,
Our pediatric oncologist, who specializes in caring for childhood cancer survivors, will meet you and perform a complete physical exam and diagnostic tests.
Your individualized treatment summary and potential long term side effects will be explained and discussed with you.
Ways to prevent future problems are among the purposes of this center.
This treatment center is ONLY dedicated to cancer survivors. We will answer questions and discuss any needs related to your cancer or its treatment.
For more information on the Cancer Center at Children's Hospital, click here.
Pinki K. Prasad, MD, MPH
Director, Late Effects Center
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Pediatric Hematologist Oncologist
Professional School: University of Saint Eustasius School of Medicine, Netherlands Specialty Training: Pediactric Hematology/Oncology - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Master's in Public Health - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Pediatrics - Southern Illinois University, Springfield, IL Special Interests: Late effects; survivorship