About the Long Term Survivor Program
The Long Term Survivor Program, which currently follows approximately 1,500 long-term survivors, has developed an international reputation as a leader in the field and has attracted a world-renowned faculty involved in local, national and international research that benefits today’s pediatric cancer patients and future survivors.
The Texas Children’s Cancer Center Long Term Survivor Program monitors patients for delayed side effects and complications caused by previous cancer therapies. Though relatively rare, these “late” effects are potentially serious, and often subtle and difficult to diagnose. The program sees patients who were treated at any pediatric cancer treatment center.
During the past 20 years, pediatric oncologists have made great strides in improving the overall cure rate of children with cancer. Nearly 80 percent of children diagnosed with cancer now survive – and this rate is sure to improve in the coming years. There are currently more than 320,000 childhood cancer survivors in the United States, and approximately one in 570 are between the ages of 20 and 39 years who have survived childhood cancer.
Not every pediatric cancer treatment center continues to care for its patients into adulthood; however, caregivers at Texas Children’s Cancer Center recognize that health concerns for childhood cancer patients do not end when their cancer treatment is successfully completed.
The Cancer Center, along with other researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, The Center for Collaborative and Interactive Technologies (CCIT), and in collaboration with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) has developed the Passport For Care (PFC), an innovative healthcare project that addresses the need to provide patients and survivors of cancer and other chronic illnesses with increased access to their medical information and healthcare guidelines. The PFC is being implemented in multiple clinical centers in Texas and across the country.
The Long Term Survivor Program sees patients of any cancer diagnosis, two years after the completion of therapy, and five years from original date of diagnosis. When an appointment is made, we attempt to schedule all diagnostic and lab evaluations for the same day for your convenience. The visit includes a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s physical health as well as academic and social development. It also includes a meeting with a social worker who can help assess coping skills, answer financial and insurance concerns, and provide the appropriate resources if needed.
The Long Term Survivor Program also provides basic patient education about diagnosis, treatment, potential risks (late-effects), and maintaining and maximizing good health in regards to diet, exercise, environmental exposure, and stress. There are also opportunities to be enrolled in clinical research trials.
To make an appointment, please contact us at (832) 822-4240. Patients are seen on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are made approximately 4 weeks in advance to provide ample time for a care plan to be developed and appropriate screening and testing appointments to be scheduled.
Patients and families can call and self-refer to the Long Term Survivor Program directly, and self referrals for this program are permitted. Questions concerning follow-up appointments as well as becoming a new patient can be directed to Gaye Hamor, Long Term Survivor Program Coordinator, at 832-822-4727.
The Children’s Oncology Group provides additional long-term follow-up guidelines.