Keeping Good Medical Records

As much as you might want to put the experience behind you once treatment is completed, it is very important to keep good records of your child’s medical care during this time. This can be very helpful later on as your child sees new doctors. Gathering the details soon after treatment may be easier than trying to get them at some point in the future. There are certain pieces of information that your child’s doctors should have, even after the child has become an adult. These include:

  • A copy of the pathology report(s) from any biopsies or surgeries.
  • Copies of imaging tests (CT or MRI scans, etc.), which can usually be stored digitally (on a DVD, etc.)
  • If your child had surgery, a copy of the operative report(s).
  • If your child stayed in the hospital, a copy of the discharge summaries that the doctors prepared when your child was sent home.
  • If your child got chemotherapy or other medicines, a list of the final doses of each drug your child received.
  • If your child had radiation therapy, a final summary of the dose and field.

It is also very important to keep your child’s health insurance. Tests and doctor visits cost a lot, and even though no one wants to think of the tumor coming back, this could happen.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master's-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: August 12, 2014 Last Revised: January 21, 2016

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