A dear friend and fellow survivor who died several years ago of heart failure caused by mantle radiation and doxorubicin had a blog entitled 'Surviving Survivorship.' She made me promise to use that term, phrase, idea, reality in a way that would benefit other adult survivors of childhood and AYA cancers. It's taken me this … Continue reading Surviving Survivorship: Cancer Treatment-Related Late Effects
It was noon before I realized that today is National Cancer Survivors Day and I thought I might want to take my fingers to the keyboard to hammer out some thoughts, reflections, hopes for the future. I have officially lived 40 years beyond what my parents were told to expect; they were told 6 months … Continue reading National Cancer Survivors Day
Cancer survivorship and adulting is A LOT for anyone to manage, but especially if you're an emerging young adult preoccupied with employability, health insurance coverage, and independent living. However, part of 'adulting' is recognizing that the lifelong need for customized follow up medical care because of your cancer treatment rests squarely on your shoulders and … Continue reading Survivorship and Adulting
Well, my medical year in review includes something that I believe gets looked at every day, but it all to often overlooked in the care of the adult survivor of childhood cancer who received radiation. I will link to the Children's Oncology Group/s risk factors and guidelines at the end of the post. This year … Continue reading Total Body Skin Check
Chest radiation is a well known risk factor for the subsequent development of breast cancer. This study was aimed at exploring the relationship between hormonal factors and the risk of radiation-associated breast cancer among survivors of childhood cancer. Included in the study were 1,108 females diagnosed from 1970 to 1986 who were treated with chest … Continue reading Radiation-Associated Breast Cancer and Hormone Exposure: a CCSS* Report
Treatment-Related Breast Cancer: Survivor, Are You at Risk? The risk of developing breast cancer after treatment for a childhood, adolescent, or young adult cancer depends on the type of treatment one received for their original diagnosis. While treatment-related breast cancers affect primarily females, males are also at risk as they, too, have breast tissue. Known … Continue reading Treatment-Related Breast Cancer: Survivor, Are You at Risk?
Truth: every wardrobe needs a little black dress or black bow tie just as every cancer survivor needs a cancer treatment summary. A cancer treatment summary is a detailed summary of your diagnosis, treatment along with your risk profile for late effects and recommendations for future monitoring diagnostics. A thorough treatment summary includes the following: … Continue reading Black Dress or Bow Tie: Got One?!
From the father of an adult survivor of childhood cancer written through his father-eyes, his heart-tender, and in his own words on the lived experience of being told your daughter has cancer, then 30 years later that she needed a new heart. “We tell ourselves it’s always the 'other guy’. It only happens to other … Continue reading the ‘Other Guy’ Rule
I met with my PCP, Dr. Pepper, a couple of weeks ago, to discuss a plan for lung surveillance moving forward. I had several things on my heart and mind that I felt we needed to plan for in the future specific to potential late effects. I have several unique 'things' that place me at … Continue reading Shared Decision Making
Fact: primary care providers [PCP] are essential in the life of the cancer survivor, so get one! Fact: medical education does not speak to the potential late effects of cancer treatment and appropriate screenings across time. Fact: we, survivors, have a tendency to feel safe [and] secure under the umbrella of our oncologists; however, our … Continue reading Primary Care Provider: Get One!