Childhood Cancer Survivors Face Higher Incidence of Late, Significant Surgeries
Childhood cancer is a devastating diagnosis that no parent wants to hear. For those who do hear it, the primary focus is on treatment and survival. Surviving cancer is only half the battle, however. Childhood cancer survivors face a higher incidence of late, significant surgeries that can impact their quality of life.
What is the Issue?
Researchers have found that childhood cancer survivors are more likely to undergo major, life-altering surgeries as adults. These surgeries can be the result of previous cancer treatments or simply an increased risk due to their cancer history.
Why the Increase?
The increase in surgeries for childhood cancer survivors is due to a variety of factors. One of the main contributors is the treatments used to combat childhood cancer. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery can all cause long-term side effects that may not show up until years later. Additionally, the stress and strain on the body from cancer treatments can weaken the immune system and make it more susceptible to other illnesses and conditions.
Types of Surgeries
The types of surgeries that childhood cancer survivors may face as adults vary based on their specific cancer diagnosis and treatment history. Some common surgeries include:
- Organ removal, such as kidney or lung
- Limb amputation
- Reconstructive surgery for deformities
- Plastic surgery for scar reduction
Coping with the Effects
The physical and emotional effects of surgeries can be challenging for childhood cancer survivors. It is important for survivors to understand the risks associated with their treatment and to stay informed about their long-term health and well-being. Connecting with other survivors can also be helpful for coping with the effects of childhood cancer and subsequent surgeries.
Childhood cancer survivors face a unique set of challenges even after they have beaten their disease. They may face additional surgeries that impact their quality of life and overall health. Awareness of the risks associated with childhood cancer treatment and staying informed about long-term health can help survivors stay healthy and resilient.
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