Late Effects of Cancer and Cancer Treatmentenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-cancerEffect-enHD-AR1.jpgLong-term side effects, or late effects, happen to many cancer survivors. With early diagnosis and proper follow-up care, most late effects can be treated or cured.cancers, late effects, side effects, long-term effects of cancer treatment, adverse reactions, chemotherapy, steroids, radiation, immunotherapy, biologic therapy, target therapy, long term effects, health problems from cancer therapy, treatment, chemo, childhood cancers, types of cancer, cansers, side affects, stunted bone growth, abnormal bone growth, long-term effects, thyroid problems, thyroids, hearing loss, hearing problems, vision problems, dental problems, delayed sexual development, fertility issues, fertility problems, infertility, cancer center, tumors, tumours, malignant, malignancies, remission, in remission, cancer survivors, off-treatment summary, off treatment summary12/17/200906/18/201806/18/2018Joanne Quillen, MSN, PNP, BC06/01/20184f0ec7e2-6a0d-4c67-b4e7-f6e15de2816dhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/late-effects.html/<h3>What Are Late Effects of Cancer and Cancer Treatment?</h3> <p>If your child has <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cancer.html/">cancer</a>, you're probably familiar with the short-term effects of the disease and its treatment: pain, nausea, tiredness, skin rashes, and more.</p> <p>But even when the disease is in remission and your child has been cancer-free for years, long-term <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/side-effects.html/">side effects</a> may happen. These problems are called &quot;late effects.&quot;</p> <p>About 2 out of 3 cancer survivors will develop at least one late effect at some point. With early diagnosis and proper follow-up care, most late effects can be treated or cured.</p> <h3>What Causes Late Effects?</h3> <p>The cancer itself is not what usually causes the late effects — rather, it's the treatment. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/chemotherapy.html/">Chemotherapy</a> and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/radiation.html/">radiation</a> both work by killing fast-growing cells. Cancer cells are among those, but unfortunately so are lots of other healthy cells.</p> <p>More research needs to be done to fully understand how late effects happen. Researchers think it is likely that damage to the cells at critical points in a child's development leads to late effects.</p> <p>Doctors have learned that the types of effects a childhood cancer survivor might have later can depend on:</p> <ul> <li>the type of cancer the child had</li> <li>where the cancer was in the body</li> <li>the type and dose of chemotherapy and radiation</li> <li>the age and general health of the child at the time of treatment</li> </ul> <h3>What Are the Common Late Effects of Cancer Treatment?</h3> <p>Late side effects include:</p> <p><strong>Learning problems.</strong> Some chemotherapy drugs and/or radiation to the brain may interfere with learning. The problems can range from mild to severe, and may show up during treatment, soon after treatment, or several years later. Common learning problems include problems with memory, processing speed, and multi-tasking.</p> <p><strong>Abnormal bone growth.</strong> Sometimes kids do not grow in the usual timeframe and/or stop growing much earlier than normal. This may be due to radiation treatment, chemotherapy, or a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/brn-tumors.html/">brain tumor</a> or its treatment.</p> <p>Kids may also be at risk for developing osteoporosis (bone thinning) or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/scoliosis.html/">scoliosis</a> (a curved spine).</p> <p><strong>Thyroid problems.</strong> The thyroid is a gland of the endocrine system that controls metabolism (chemical reactions in the body's cells). It may be damaged by radiation to the head or neck. The result is typically <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hypothyroidism.html/">hypothyroidism</a> (when the thyroid doesn't make enough thyroid hormone), leading to tiredness, weight gain, thinning hair, and dry skin.</p> <p><strong>Hearing loss.</strong> Chemotherapy, radiation to the brain, and even some antibiotics can lead to high-frequency hearing loss (when a person cannot hear high-pitched sounds), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), or dizziness.</p> <p><strong>Vision problems.</strong> Blurred or double vision, glaucoma, or cataracts are more likely in kids who were treated for tumors near the eye or received radiation to the brain.</p> <p><strong>Dental problems.</strong> Short dental roots, delayed teeth, or missing teeth are more common in very young children who've had radiation to the brain and/or chemotherapy with a drug called vincristine. All kids who have had chemo are at risk for tooth decay and gum disease.</p> <p><strong>Lung, liver, or kidney problems.</strong> Childhood cancer treatments have been linked to several types of body organ damage later in life. How serious the organ damage is depends on the type of cancer and treatment.</p> <p><strong>Heart problems.</strong> Kids who had chest radiation and/or chemo with a class of drugs called anthracycline are at higher risk for heart problems up to 20 years or longer after treatment. The severity of the problem depends on how much chemo and/or chest radiation they got and the child's age during treatment. Family <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/about-genetics.html/">genetics</a>, weight, and cholesterol level also play a role in in getting heart problems.</p> <p><strong>Delayed sexual development and fertility issues.</strong> Both chemotherapy and radiation can cause <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cancer-fertility.html/">fertility problems</a>. These late effects may be from damage to the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/endocrine.html/">endocrine system</a> (which starts the onset of puberty) or to the sexual organs themselves.</p> <p>Because of the risk, special measures may be taken before or during treatment to protect the reproductive organs. For example, doctors may shield the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/female-reproductive-system.html/">ovaries</a> and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/male-reproductive.html/">testicles</a> during radiation treatment. Teen boys and girls may be able to bank their sperm and eggs before cancer treatment. The good news is that despite these risks, many childhood cancer survivors can go on to have healthy children of their own.</p> <p><strong>Increased risk of future cancers.</strong> Childhood cancer survivors have a slightly higher risk of developing a second cancer at some point — even if the original cancer doesn't come back. Many things affect this risk, such as the type of the first cancer, the treatments given, and any genetic risks.</p> <h3>What Can We Expect During Remission?</h3> <p>When your child is considered cancer-free and in <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/in-remission.html/">remission</a>, you may be tempted to stay as far away from doctors and hospitals as you can. But your child needs to be carefully monitored for years to come, even into adulthood. As with any disease, the sooner any possible late effects are caught, the quicker they can be managed.</p> <p>After treatment ends, ask the doctor for what's called an &quot;off-treatment summary.&quot; This includes all of the information related to your child's cancer diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care. Follow-up appointments may include regular screenings like blood tests, hearing tests, vision tests, and heart tests (<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/echo.html/">echocardiograms</a>, or EKGs).</p> <p>It's important that your child follow this schedule. The hospital may have a cancer survivorship clinic to help with this process. Survivorship clinics provide long-term medical services and follow-up care for cancer survivors. The focus is on educating you and your child about the cancer that's now in remission; long-term follow-up recommendations; and ways to live a healthy, happy, long life.</p> <p>Keep all medical records in a safe place, and help your child begin taking responsibility for managing his or her own <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/teen-health-care.html/">health care</a>.</p> <p>As your child grows, emphasize the importance of regular follow-up care and also a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise. Both can increase your child's chances of staying well in the future.</p> <h3>How Can Parents Help?</h3> <p>Knowing that the cancer might come back can be hard for any childhood cancer survivor. Some kids might not tell their parents about any new symptoms for fear of being sick again.</p> <p>Reassure your child that no one knows what tomorrow holds and that even if a late effect should appear, it's best to pay attention to symptoms right away. Many late effects are treatable with routine medical care.</p>Secuelas del cáncer y el tratamiento contra el cáncerSi su hijo tiene cáncer, probablemente esté familiarizado con los efectos a corto plazo de la enfermedad y el tratamiento: dolor, náuseas, cansancio, erupciones cutáneas y más.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/late-effects-esp.html/4ddd1d4f-6571-4e83-a317-7d51726f9f8e
Brain and Nervous System CancersThese cancers are the most common type of cancer in children. When discovered early, they often can be cured.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/brain-tumors.html/527c1203-9898-45b5-8dba-3de70f76df5d
Can I Have Children After Cancer Treatments?When chemotherapy and other treatments attack cancer cells, they can affect some of the body's healthy cells too. As a teen, you'll want to know what this can mean to your fertility.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/fertility.html/4543f264-b161-402f-8231-768ae12a4f1f
Cancer BasicsGet the basics on cancer and cancer treatments in this article.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/cancer.html/80768a55-ae26-44d5-82a5-675138383191
Cancer CenterFrom treatments and prevention to coping with the emotional aspects of cancer, the Cancer Center provides comprehensive information that parents need.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/center/cancer-center.html/92fcdf56-6935-42ac-a953-9eaf5f96fe2f
Cancer: Readjusting to Home and SchoolIf you've just finished a long hospital stay, you may have questions about reconnecting with friends and family. Get answers in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/cancer-readjusting.html/5473fe0c-b8b9-4657-a320-1ab5d91bb9e0
ChemotherapyChemotherapy is a big word for treatment with medicines used to help people who have cancer. This medicine kills the cancer cells that are making the person sick.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/chemo.html/8c03a04e-e4b5-47b3-8476-20d45619a51f
Childhood CancerDifferent kinds of childhood cancer have different signs, symptoms, treatments, and outcomes. But today, most kids with cancer get better.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cancer.html/fb37fd75-d961-43c2-b963-ef6f60486038
Coping With Cosmetic Effects of Cancer TreatmentIt's normal for kids to have hair loss, skin changes, or weight gain during treatment. This article offers tips for helping kids feel better about their appearance.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cosmetic-effects.html/901f4716-eb3c-4ce8-a36c-e60d8f586450
Dealing With CancerIt's unusual for teens to have cancer, but it can happen. The good news is that most will survive and return to their everyday lives. Learn about how to cope if you or someone you know has cancer.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/deal-with-cancer.html/7bc989fa-70dd-47d8-8c21-c5359f1dca38
Effects of Cancer Treatment on FertilityWhile some cancer treatments have little to no effect on reproductive health, others are more likely cause temporary or permanent infertility.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cancer-fertility.html/3b409a23-6f4e-47f5-9d9e-63ac4fed8be9
Keeping Your Child Healthy During Cancer RemissionMany families with a child in remission feel empowered to make lifestyle changes that could benefit their child's health in the future. Here are some tips.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/in-remission.html/cc655777-62dc-4041-b526-053828ad34bc
Nutritional Needs for Kids With CancerEating as well as possible and staying hydrated can help kids undergoing cancer treatment keep up their strength and deal with side effects. These tips can help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cancer-nutrition.html/12411d86-099c-4ca7-acc7-cb61405482f1
Side Effects of Chemotherapy and RadiationSide effects of cancer treatment can include flu-like symptoms, hair loss, and blood clotting problems. After treatment ends, most side effects go away.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/side-effects.html/96a6771c-22f7-4b52-ae6b-6aa9487bc738
Stem Cell TransplantsStem cells can develop into cells with different skills, so they're useful in treating diseases like cancer.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/stem-cells.html/28245333-8896-4baf-a82f-dd5000213e7d
Steroids and Cancer TreatmentIf your doctor prescribed steroids as part of your treatment for an illness, don't worry. It's not the illegal, doping scandal kind of steroid. Get the details in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/treatment-steroids.html/7da1950f-1e2d-4e57-83ad-a0c4672d4ee3
Steroids for Treating CancerUnlike the steroids that body builders use, steroids used in cancer treatment are safe and help kids feel better.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/steroid-treatment.html/2e913244-cf34-4cfd-987f-847382370bcf
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-oncologykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-oncologyCancer Basicshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cancer-center/cancer-basics/9ea0efb4-12d0-4d11-8b46-923deeb7b806Cancer Treatment & Preventionhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cancer-center/treatment/9b82611a-8da8-4937-991c-407024862b68