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November 2023

Help Your Child Thrive After Cancer

A child who has conquered cancer has much to look forward to. But as a parent, you know challenges still lie ahead.

Childhood cancer survivors are more likely than other people to develop cancer later in life. What’s more, some children face complications as a result of their treatments. Those problems may affect many facets of their lives and bodies, including reproductive and sexual development, growth, the lungs, and the heart. Some children may develop learning difficulties or emotional problems.

But you can use many strategies along the way to help your child thrive:

  • Develop and follow a long-term plan. Even though cancer-free, your child will need follow-up care throughout life to look for any recurrent or new cancer, as well as side effects or complications from treatment.

  • Keep careful medical records. Include details of the diagnosis, treatments, side effects, and complications. Provide copies to any new healthcare providers your child visits while growing into adulthood. This medical history is valuable in understanding any future problems.

  • Start good habits early. Keep your child robust by encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Teach the importance of avoiding smoking, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, and getting plenty of regular exercise.

  • Keep your child emotionally fit. You know the emotional toll your child’s illness took on you. Imagine how your child feels. Nurture emotional well-being by encouraging your child to talk about feelings. See whether the child will speak with a counselor to deal with depression, stress, anxiety, or fear of the illness returning. Support groups can also help young cancer survivors cope with emotional effects.

Parents of cancer survivors understand what a precious gift life is. Use that information to make each day a healthy one for your child to thrive.

To learn more

You can find out more about the possible long-term effects of childhood cancer and how to help your child stay well at the American Society of Clinical Oncology.




Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ray Turley BSN, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2023
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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