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Long-Term And Late Effects Of Treatment For Childhood Cancer Survivors

Treatment for childhood blood cancer may consist of chemotherapy and other drug therapies and may also include radiation therapy or allogeneic stem cell transplantation. There are risks for long-term and late effects common to all of these treatments, and these may include problems with learning, fatigue, bone or joint pain and an increased risk for developing a secondary cancer. 

Some long-term and late effects become evident with maturation (puberty), growth and the normal aging process. However, early intervention and healthy lifestyle practices (not smoking, good nutrition, exercise, regular screenings and follow-up) can help lessen any future late effect's occurrence or severity. 

Talk with your child's treatment team about possible long-term and late effects. His or her risk for developing long-term or late effects can be influenced by:

  • Treatment type and duration
  • Age at the time of treatment
  • Gender
  • Overall health

Long-term and late effects can affect your child in a number of ways. The range and severity of potential long-term and late effects vary. Some children will either have no significant long-term or late effects or very mild effects, and others may have serious complications.

 Read the Long-Term and Late Effects section of the PDF, Beyond Treatment, for more information.

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