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Pediatric Cancer- Late Side Effects-

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Aggressive Therapies for Pediatric Cancer Will Result in Long-term and Late Stage Side Effects- 

Pediatric oncology has come along way in improving the survival of pediatric cancer patients. Many cancers that were a death sentence fifty years ago are curable today. Unfortunately, with those cures come with the threat of long-term and late stage side effects.

JADE  |  Photographed by Kasia Jarosz

I’m both a parent and a long-term cancer survivor. I live with long-term and late stage side effects from aggressive conventional therapies I underwent in 1995. I live with chronic a-fib, cognitive dysfunction and progressive nerve damage. Research indicates that these side effects could have been either minimized or eliminated all together.

If I knew then what I know now…

Most parents I know would gladly allow treatment-related side effects to their cancer stricken child if the parents were told that their child would live. I feel the same way.

But what if your child was diagnosed with cancer, had to undergo toxic therapies and could also take evidenced-based, non-toxic therapies to reduce their risk of these horrible treatment-related side effects?

I wish I had taken CoQ10 when I underwent chemotherapy regimens such as adriamycin, melphalan and cytoxan. I wish that I had undergone hyperbaric oxygen therapy immediately following my radiation therapy.

To learn more about integrative therapies for pediatric cancers, those therapies that studies have shown will increase the efficacy of chemo while reducing the collateral damage, scroll down the page, post a question and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Long-term Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Chemotherapy-induced hearing loss affects neurocognition in pediatric brain tumor survivors

“More children are surviving malignant brain tumors than in the past, thanks to the use of intense treatments using platinum-based chemotherapy (cisplatin and high-dose carboplatin). Unfortunately, the therapy has a known side effect of permanent hearing loss, resulting from damage to the inner ear. Investigators at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles now report that this type of chemotherapy may not only impact hearing, but that the hearing loss may then contribute to long-term neurocognitive deficits

Among brain tumor survivors treated with platinum-based therapies, 55 percent sustained sensorineural hearing loss. Independent of radiation therapy effects, patients who experienced hearing loss were found to have significant deficits in intelligence, executive function, and verbal reasoning skills…

The study indicates that children who received radiation therapy and developed hearing loss are at particularly high-risk for neurocognitive decline…”

Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood/Pediatric Cancer (PDQ®)–Patient Version

“General Information about Late Effects


  • Late effects are health problems that occur months or years after cancer treatment has ended.
  • Late effects in childhood cancer survivors affect the body and mind.
  • There are three important factors that affect the risk of late effects.
  • The chance of having late effects increases over time.
  • Regular follow-up care is very important for survivors of childhood cancer.
  • Good health habits are also important for survivors of childhood cancer.

Late effects are health problems that occur months or years after cancer treatment has ended.

Cancer treatments may harm the body’s organs, tissues, or bones and cause health problems later in life. These health problems are called late effects.

Treatments that may cause late effects include the following:

Doctors are studying the late effects caused by cancer treatment. They are working to improve cancer treatments and stop or lessen late effects. While most late effects are not life-threatening, they may cause serious problems that affect health and quality of life.

Late effects in childhood cancer survivors affect the body and mind.

Late effects in childhood cancer survivors may affect the following:

  • Organs, tissues, and body function.
  • Growth and development.
  • Mood, feelings, and actions.
  • Thinking, learning, and memory.
  • Social and psychological adjustment.
  • Risk of second cancers.

There are three important factors that affect the risk of late effects.

Many childhood cancer survivors will have late effects. The risk of late effects depends on factors related to the tumor, treatment, and patient. These include the following:

  • Tumor-related factors
    • Type of cancer.
    • Where the tumor is in the body.
    • How the tumor affects the way tissues and organs work.
  • Treatment-related factors
    • Type of surgery.
    • Chemotherapy type, dose, and schedule.
    • Type of radiation therapy, part of the body treated, and dose.
    • Stem cell transplant.
    • Use of two or more types of treatment at the same time.
    • Chronic graft-versus-host disease.
  • Patient-related factors
    • The child’s sex.
    • Health problems the child had before being diagnosed with cancer.
    • The child’s age and developmental stage when diagnosed and treated.
    • Length of time since diagnosis and treatment.
    • Changes in hormone levels.
    • The ability of healthy tissue affected by cancer treatment to repair itself.
    • Certain changes in the child’s genes.
    • Family history of cancer or other conditions.
    • Socioeconomic status.
    • Health habits.

The chance of having late effects increases over time.

New treatments for childhood cancer have decreased the number of deaths from the primary cancer. Because childhood cancer survivors are living longer, they are having more late effects after cancer treatment. Survivors may not live as long as people who did not have cancer. The most common causes of death in childhood cancer survivors are:

  • The primary cancer comes back.
  • A second (different) primary cancer forms.
  • Heart and lung damage.

Studies of the causes of late effects have led to changes in treatment. This has improved the quality of life for cancer survivors and helps prevent illness and death from late effects.

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