Late effects of chemotherapy for childhood cancer

      Abstract

      Childhood cancer is rare accounting for approximately 0.5% of all cancer cases in the UK. Significant improvements in survival over recent decades mean that the majority of children diagnosed with cancer can now expect to survive long term. It is estimated that one in 700 young adults are survivors of childhood cancer. Improved survival has come at a cost, and survivors are at risk of significant morbidity and mortality due to their previous cancer and its treatment. Long term health problems that occur as a result of cancer treatment are known as late effects. They can affect any organ system or tissue and sometimes do not become clinically apparent until many years after completion of treatment. Appropriate surveillance plans and long term follow up must therefore be put in place for this growing population. This review focuses on the potential late effects of chemotherapy for childhood cancer.

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      Further reading

      1. Children's Oncology Group (COG). Long term follow up guidelines for survivors of childhood, adolescent and young adult cancers (version 3.0, 2008) http://www.survivorshipguidelines.org/pdf/LTFUGuidelines.pdf.

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