How will having pediatric cancer affect my child's future

Learn about: How will having pediatric cancer affect my child's future from Stuart E. Siegel, MD,...
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How will having pediatric cancer affect my child's future

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We have a lot more of survivors now. We payed a lot more attention to what happens to children with cancer who finish their treatment, and are doing well. The things we have to watch out for in the physical side is that the cancer can come back. There's certain cancers that may not comeback for several years but then reappear. That's number one. Number two, we have to worry about the physical side effects that can occur because of the treatment. Or even the cancer itself. And those could be things, obvious things, like they've lost a leg. And what does that mean for their future life? How are they going to be able to move around? What will that do their - Limit their activity or not limit their activity? It can be effects of the radiation. Radiation tends to have the most obvious and significant effects on children as they grow up. Because, your treating a growing child, and radiation can be particularly damaging to a growing person. So, you have to look for cancers due to radiation, we call them second cancers. You have to look for bones that don't grow normally because of the radiation. You have to look for, if they've had radiation to the head, you have to worry about their teeth not growing normally or falling out. Or having problems with their jaw with eating. You have to worry about if their liver got radiation. Are they got certain drugs. Does that cause damage to the liver, that appears later on. Or the kidney or things like that. So, there's a host of these side effects of the drugs that can continue, or appear even, during the course of the survivorship of that child. And that's why it is important for those children to be seen regularly. And, have the studies done that are relevant for the drugs and the cancer they had. To be sure we pick this things early. Because, there are things we can do to either prevent them or to get them treated before they cause major problems.

Learn about: How will having pediatric cancer affect my child's future from Stuart E. Siegel, MD,...

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Stuart E. Siegel, MD

Director, Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Before recently shifting his focus to international medicine, Stuart Siegel, MD, was Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology for 35 years and the founding director of the the Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Professor and Head of the Division of Hematology-Oncology Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. He remains a leader in supportive care and research in pediatric oncology, with a special focus on neuroblastoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Ewing Sarcoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and brain tumors. From developing the first pediatric protective environment in 1971 for children undergoing intensive chemotherapy, to pioneering current efforts to develop academic and clinical care programs nationally and locally for adolescents and young adults with cancer, Dr. Siegel’s contributions have revolutionized the field of pediatric oncology. Dr. Siegel has been honored for his work by the American Cancer Society, Children Foundation, the Cancer Foundation, the Chase Foundation, Padres Contra El Cancer, the Israel Cancer Research Fund and Ronald McDonald House Charities, where he is a member of the National Board, and has consistently been listed among the nation’s top doctors in such publications asAmerica’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America. He is a father of one son, Joshua; grandfather of David and Elijah; and lives in Pacific Palisades with his wife of seven years.

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