The type and frequency of exams and screenings your child needs depends on the type of cancer treatment or cancer drugs he or she received. Below are general guidelines for several therapies:
- Radiation therapy: Yearly physical exams, including growth, thyroid, bone and hormone monitoring. Girls who had radiation therapy in the chest area (mediastinal) should:
- Perform monthly self-breast exams
- Get a baseline mammogram at age 25 to 30, or 10 years after radiation therapy
- Get an annual clinical breast exam
- Have a mammogram every two to three years, depending on breast tissue density
- Cranial radiation therapy: Neurocognitive testing at baseline, then whenever the clinical need arises.
- Anthracycline, high-dose cyclophosphamide or mediastinal or spinal radiation therapy: Baseline testing for heart function, then every three to five years after treatment or as needed if abnormalities are present.
- Chest or mediastinal radiation, bleomycin or carmustine or lomustine therapy: Baseline lung function testing, then every three to five years as needed. Educate your children on the importance of not smoking.
- Cisplatin or carboplatin: Creatinine clearance measurements taken at baseline, then every three to five years as needed.
- Ifosfamide: Yearly monitoring for evidence of Fanconi syndrome, a type of kidney problem.
- 6-mercaptopurine, methotrexate, actinomycin-D or abdominal radiation therapy: Liver function tests every one to three years.
- Etoposide or alkylating agents: Annual complete blood counts (CBCs) for evidence of myelodysplasia or a secondary leukemia.
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's free booklet, Long Term and Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Leukemia or Lymphoma Facts.