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What to Do if Your Child Relapses
Child Cancer Relapse

Relapse is a word any cancer patient dreads. But if your child does relapse, Deanna Abrams offers advice for parents.

In Her Words

Transition Off Therapy: Care After Pediatric Cancer Treatment

Our Transition to Survivorship program provides support and education to help families transition from active treatment for childhood cancer to off-therapy care.

The last day of cancer treatment is a time of strong emotions for patients and their families. Families feel joyful, relieved, and grateful. But at the same time, many families feel a loss of security that comes with finishing treatment and not seeing their doctors and clinic staff so often. Families also can feel overwhelmed as they try to get back to normal life. Transition to Survivorship helps parents prepare follow-up care schedules, find resources, understand possible late effects of treatment, and much more.

During the transition period, we will continue to support your child as he or she returns to normal life and typical activities, such as school. You also will start to reconnect with your pediatrician and to build support and care outside of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s.

Life After Cancer Treatment

After cancer treatment ends, your child’s primary oncologist and nurse practitioner will give you a treatment summary and follow-up plan – your child’s personal “roadmap.” A copy of the summary, along with a letter stating that your child has completed therapy, will be sent to your child’s pediatrician or primary care provider. This will open lines of communication between Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s and your child’s regular doctor as the transfer of care begins.

After about two years off treatment, your child will have the option to seek long-term survivorship care and support through the David B. Perini Jr. Quality of Life Clinic or the Stop & Shop Family Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Outcomes Clinic.

What to Expect

To learn more about transitioning off of childhood cancer treatment, watch the archived Google+ hangout below. Nina Muriel, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Pediatric Psychosocial Program, was joined by a panel of clinical experts, family members, and a patient who have experienced this transition. The group discusses the challenges faced when cancer treatment ends and shares tips on how to make this time easier for others in similar circumstances.