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National Cancer Institute

National Priorities in Cancer Survivorship

Presentation 2: Summary of the Institute of Medicine Reports on Cancer Survivorship

Susan L. Weiner, Ph.D.
President, The Children’s Cause, Inc.
Silver Spring, MD

  • Chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation administered during periods of physical, neurological, and social growth and development can result in serious long-term problems for childhood cancer survivors, including second cancers; learning, psychological and social disabilities; and a range of physical problems.
  • Studies of long-term effects have led to changes in cancer treatment (e.g., dosage, use of less toxic drugs) that can lessen these effects.
  • The Institute of Medicine recommends the development of guidelines for minimum standards of care and for a system of followup care, accessible to all cancer survivors. Survivor (and family) awareness of late effects and their impact on long-term health should be improved.
  • Increased training of health professionals about the long-term health issues of childhood cancer survivors is needed.
  • Public programs (e.g., those from the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, Health Resources and Services Administration, and Child Health Bureau) can help improve services for childhood cancer survivors; many problems of survivors also are shared by children and adults with other chronic or disabling conditions.

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