Emotional issues after treatment of childhood leukemia
Emotional issues may come up both during and after treatment. Factors such as the child's age when the leukemia was found and the extent of treatment may play a role here.
During treatment, families tend to focus on the daily aspects of getting through it and beating the leukemia. But once treatment is finished, a number of emotional concerns may arise. Some of these may last a long time. They can include things like:
- Dealing with physical changes that result from the treatment
- Worries about the leukemia returning or new health problems developing
- Feelings of resentment for having had leukemia or having to go through treatment when others do not
- Concerns about being treated differently or discriminated against (by friends, classmates, coworkers, employers, etc.)
- Concerns about dating, marrying, and having a family later in life
No one would choose to have leukemia, but for many childhood leukemia survivors, the experience can have positive effects, helping to establish strong self-values. Other survivors may have a harder time recovering, adjusting to life after cancer, and moving on. It is normal to have some fear or other emotions after treatment, but feeling overly worried, depressed, or angry can affect many aspects of a young person's growth. It can get in the way of relationships, school, work, and other aspects of life. With support from family, friends, other survivors, mental health professionals, and others, many people who have survived cancer can thrive in spite of the challenges they've had to face.
Last Medical Review: 06/29/2012
Last Revised: 01/21/2013