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Survivorship: During and After Treatment
One of the first questions you might have asked the cancer care team after your child was diagnosed with cancer was "When will this be over?" After many weeks, months, and even years you might find that the end of treatment is both exciting and little scary. It's important for your child and loved ones to know that it can take time to adjust to being done with treatment.
Some families find that when treatments and medicines stop, everyone may feel a little worried and afraid. You or your child might be afraid the cancer will come back when treatment stops. You might also feel unsure of how your child will do when they return to school and other activities. Many families find they miss seeing the people on the cancer care team as often as they did during treatment. Here are some things you can do to help manage different feelings you might have when treatment ends.
Your child's reaction to being done with treatment usually depends on their age, personality, type of treatment received, and other factors. The most important thing is for them to grow and develop the same way they would if they had never had cancer. For some children the first few months and years after treatment are a time of catching up with peers. As much as possible they will find security in routines and knowing what to expect day to day. Here are some tips for things you can do to support child development and create routines for children of different ages:
Infants and very young children
Toddlers and preschoolers
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Brand S, Wolfe J, Samsel C. The impact of cancer and its treatment on the growth and development of a pediatric patient. Curr Pediatr Rev. 2016 Nov 15.
Last Revised: October 12, 2017
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