By Karina Danner-Koptic, RN, MSN, APN-CPON
Childhood cancer survivors are an ever-growing force! More than 85% of children diagnosed with cancer in 2013 can expect to be cured. Innovative medicines and therapies, along with increased understanding of the biology of cancer have led to higher cure rates. However, research shows that approximately 75% of childhood cancer survivors will develop effects of their therapy later in life.
To help head off those effects, the standard of care for childhood cancer survivors is to undergo systematic and lifelong medical screening, monitoring and care.
The STAR Program Can Help
As these survivors grow up, the transition from pediatric to adult survivorship care is a necessity. That’s where our STAR Program comes in. STAR provides comprehensive care to childhood cancer and hematopoietic stem cell transplant survivors, and supports survivors as they make that important transition to adult care.
The preparation for children to transition needs to begin well in advance of the move to adult care so that the survivor can be properly introduced and educated about what they will need. We focus our transitions on educating the survivor about their past medical history, ongoing surveillance and care, health maintenance and preventative healthcare.
For more information about childhood cancer survivors and the transition to adult care, view our list of helpful resources.
To read more about transitioning to adult care, take a look at our blog post series, “Transitioning to Adult Care,” which follows four teenagers through their transition and some of the questions and challenges that go along with it. The posts include:
- Transitioning to Adult Care: Switching Hospitals
- Transitioning to Adult Care: Leaving Home
- Transitioning to Adult Care: Helpful Tips