Childhood Cancer Survivors Offered Long-term Support through The National Children’s Cancer Society

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There are nearly 400,000 teenagers and adults in America who are childhood cancer survivors, according to the “Cancer Facts and Figures 2014” from the American Cancer Society (ACS). Each is unique, their names and faces etched in the hearts of their medical caregivers; their stories providing encouragement to other children journeying through cancer treatment.

The National Children's Cancer Society

The National Children's Cancer Society

“We are devoted to walking alongside childhood cancer survivors to make sure they have all the tools and support they need to thrive and stay healthy after treatment for their disease,” says Pam Gabris, coordinator of the Beyond the Cure program.

Many young survivors are finding continued hope and help through The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS), which provides pediatric cancer survivors with long-term support ranging from late effects education and transportation to follow-up care, health conferences and college scholarships.

“We are devoted to walking alongside childhood cancer survivors to make sure they have all the tools and support they need to thrive and stay healthy after treatment for their disease,” says Pam Gabris, a registered nurse and coordinator of the NCCS’s Beyond the Cure survivorship program.

Understanding post-treatment medical, intellectual and emotional problems is a specialty of the NCCS, which created its Beyond the Cure program to address the varied and sometimes complex needs of survivors. The Beyond the Cure website offers information for both survivors and their caregivers on such relevant topics as school, relationships, employment and healthy living; a complete listing of long-term follow-up clinics; and dates for survivorship conferences across the country.

The NCCS also developed a Late Affects Assessment Tool to help survivors identify potential long-term effects of their specific disease and treatment. Additionally, Beyond the Cure offers a college scholarship program for childhood cancer survivors.

According to the ACS, one in 480 children will be diagnosed before the age of 16 this year and one in 285 before the age of 20. There will be an estimated 10,450 new cases of cancer diagnosed this year in children under the age of 15.

“More and more children are surviving cancer, but many of them have ongoing health issues and support needs,” said Julie Komanetsky, MSW/Vice President, Patient & Family Services. “Our goal is not only to help them be successful at beating cancer, but also to be successful going forward in every other area of their lives.”

Education about healthy living and early detection of late effects are critical to improving the overall well being and long-term outlook for pediatric cancer survivors, added Komanetsky.

To learn more about the NCCS and its support services for children with cancer and their families, visit thenccs.org.

Visit the NCCS on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thenccs.    

For information and resources for survivors, including a Late Affects Assessment Tool and college scholarship opportunities, visit beyondthecure.org.

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Lori Millner
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