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Keywords:

  • survivorship;
  • transition;
  • cancer;
  • pediatric;
  • adolescent;
  • young adult

Abstract

The majority of children, adolescents, and young adults diagnosed with cancer will become long-term survivors with many potential years of life ahead of them. Their journey from health through diagnosis and treatment to survivorship involves multiple transitions. Transitional services that should be available throughout this journey include health-related education, health surveillance and screening, management of cancer-related complications, and psychosocial support relevant to their developmental needs. Survivors require lifelong care that focuses not only on the medical risks arising from their cancer therapy, but also the psychosocial, educational, and vocational implications of surviving cancer. Because many community health care providers lack familiarity with the health risks associated with childhood or adolescent/young adult cancer, survivors must have sufficient health knowledge to advocate for risk-based cancer-related follow-up; the provision of a treatment summary and care plan at the conclusion of their cancer therapy is an important tool for facilitating this process. The availability of resources for survivors varies by geography, health care system, and survivor characteristics. Adolescents and young adults who receive their care outside of a pediatric cancer center have particularly limited access. The limitations in cancer center resources (along with survivor preference) strongly suggest that the long-term care of survivors will need to be shared between the cancer centers and primary care providers in survivors' communities. Cancer 2011;117(10 suppl):2335–41. © 2011 American Cancer Society.