May 9, 2013

Late Effects of Cancer Therapy

It has been said that the greatest threat to a survivor’s future health is his/her lack of knowledge about the potential late effects of cancer treatment.

So, what is the ‘little black dress’ that we, survivors, especially survivors of childhood cancers MUST have when it comes to late effects of cancer treatment?

As a survivor of Ewing’s Sarcoma, I would suggest that knowledge of the late effects of cancer treatment I received as a child is the little black dress in my survivorship wardrobe.

If knowledge is power, then smart is the new sexy among survivors!

Educating and equipping survivors in a way that frees us to step forward into LIFE with great HOPE and a strong sense of FUTURE is myHeart’s PASSION!

But let’s put passion on the back burner and be honest with one another: TIMING is EVERYTHING!

Not one of us wants to discuss the potential for late effects of cancer treatment to surface on our last day of treatment, 6 months later, 1 year, later, even 2 years later; however, with the passage of time, the achievement of milestones, and the experience that comes as we navigate the layers of cure, late effects become more and more common as a matter of personal HEALTH and WELLBEING.

We must be informed, educated, and equipped with regard to late effects in order to live out our cures with HOPE and confidence in our futures. 

Survivors, our effectiveness as advocates is dependent on whether or not we know our risk and our risk is rooted in treatment history; therefore, we MUST become students of ourselves and information seekers.

So, join us: little black dress, ladies; khaki pants, gentlemen.

* Childhood Cancer Survivors’ Knowledge about their Past Diagnosis and Treatment: <<HERE>>

Learn more about the largest cohort of survivors of childhood cancer ever to be followed << Childhood Cancer Survivor Study*>>


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