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If your child is being treated for cancer or if you were treated as a child, it’s important to speak with the health care team to learn more about the possible late effects based on your specific situation.
Some treatments used for tumors in the brain or to try to prevent cancer from spreading there can cause late effects.
Some types of chemotherapy, given either into a vein (intravenous, or IV chemo) or directly into the spinal column (called intrathecal chemo or “spinal tap chemo”), can also cause learning disabilities in children.
This is more likely if higher doses of certain chemo drugs are used, and if the child is younger at the time of treatment.
Today, because of advances in treatment, more than 80% of children treated for cancer survive at least 5 years..
But the treatments that help these children survive their cancer can also cause health problems later on.
Doctors do their best to limit the effects of surgery by striking a balance between removing all of the cancer and taking out as little healthy body tissue as possible.
Younger children, whose bodies are still actively growing, may be more affected by some operations than older children who are already at or near their full body size.
Doctors try to use as little radiation as possible, but this needs to be balanced with the risk of the cancer growing or returning, as radiation therapy may be lifesaving in some cases.But chemo drugs can damage normal cells, too, which can cause short-term and long-term side effects.Chemotherapy damage to quickly dividing cells can cause side effects such as low blood cell counts, nausea, diarrhea, or hair loss during treatment.Below are some of the more common possible late effects of cancer treatment.This is by no means a complete list, as other late effects can occur as well.