At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we understand that childhood and young adult cancer survivors may have distinct medical and psychological concerns in their adult years. While most survivors lead healthy, active lives, some may have health problems that persist after treatment ends or problems that develop years after cancer therapy.
Tony Correo, a childhood cancer survivor, talks about the value of sharing his own experiences with others who are battling cancer.
To maximize the health and well-being of adult survivors of childhood and young adult cancers, we have a specialized clinic, called the Adult Long-Term Follow-Up Program, within Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Adult Survivorship Program. Long-term care can help prevent, detect, and treat any delayed complications – known as late effects – that arise.
Our program provides healthcare for cancer survivors who were treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering for a pediatric cancer or a young adult lymphoma. The survivors that we follow were generally diagnosed before age 40. Most of our participants have transitioned to us from the Long-Term Follow-Up Program for children or have been referred by their medical team at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Our patients include survivors of many types of cancer, including Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma; pediatric sarcomas, such as osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma; brain tumors, such as medulloblastoma and astrocytoma; leukemia; neuroblastoma; retinoblastoma; and Wilms’ tumor. Some of our patients have also received a bone marrow transplant.
Family physician Kevin Oeffinger directs our team of survivorship experts. Our clinical team includes physicians, nurse practitioners, a nurse, a psychologist, and a social worker who provide the following services:
- Treatment Summary and Survivorship Care Plan – Prior to your initial medical consultation, our team reviews your medical records and develops a cancer treatment summary, including a description of the cancer therapies you received, potential late effects, and future screening recommendations. We update this summary and care plan during each visit.
- Initial Consultation – During your initial consultation, we will discuss your cancer treatment summary, perform a physical exam, and counsel you on your health risks – which may involve diet, physical activity, and nicotine use – as well as your need for any screening for long-term effects of cancer therapy. These screenings could include fasting blood tests, echocardiograms, mammograms or breast MRI, pulmonary (lung function) tests, and bone density tests. We then manage most health problems related to the cancer or cancer therapy.
- Health Education – One of our major goals is to provide patients with information about staying healthy. We understand the importance of helping patients and families become knowledgeable about potential effects of past cancer treatments and about ways to prevent future health problems.
- Psychosocial Care – Some adult survivors may experience feelings of isolation, fear of recurrence, and stress over coping with ongoing health needs. Our psychologist and social worker can assist you with these concerns as well as with tackling other complex issues involving employment and insurance that can have an impact on your well-being.
Cancer survival specialist Kevin Oeffinger talks about what adult survivors should look for as they move beyond their cancer experience.
We work closely with our colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering who specialize in the care of cancer survivors, including cardiologists, pulmonologists, dermatologists, rehabilitation doctors, radiologists, and surgeons. If you have a healthcare need and we do not have a specialist available (such as specialized heart surgery), we can refer you to a network of physicians and hospitals in the New York City area.
After your first visit with us, we will send your primary care physician a letter summarizing your cancer treatment and outlining a plan for follow-up care. Your physician can then incorporate this into your overall medical plan.
We typically see our patients every six to 12 months, though this varies based on the type of cancer therapy you received and any other individual health risks you may have. After each visit, we send a progress report to your primary care physician.
In addition, we offer a variety of support services available at Memorial Sloan Kettering at any time, such as our resources for life after cancer, fertility and parenthood, sexual health, integrative medicine, and smoking cessation programs.
Learn more about us by reading our program brochure.