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After Cancer: 6 Tips to Get Your Child Back on Track

childhood_cancerAfter your child goes through successful pediatric cancer treatment, you may wonder whether life will ever get back to normal. The answer is largely yes. But it may not look exactly like life before your child’s diagnosis.

“I don’t want a previous cancer diagnosis to affect people’s daily lives,” says pediatric oncologist Seth Rotz, MD. “I don’t want them to deal with the cancer diagnosis on the daily or monthly. For most people, life gets back to normal, but it might look different.”

Your child may have some long-term effects from treatment. And knowing how to manage them is important in helping him or her reclaim a regular, everyday life.

Dr. Rotz highlights challenges young cancer survivors may face. And, he offers tips to help your child get back to normal.

1. Use school and community resources to support learning and development
Dealing with cancer may cause your child to miss quite a bit of school and fall behind classmates.

Or it may slow your child’s early development. Radiation therapy and high drug doses may cause memory problems and learning delays. Slow language development and comprehension skills are sometimes the result.

If you notice signs of a learning delay in your child, talk to your pediatrician or your treatment team. They can put you in touch with community resources that can help.

School referral programs, state or county social service agencies, and other educational or vocational programs all may help. They have resources, tools and techniques to support your child and help get him or her back up to speed.

2. Work with an ophthalmologist to watch for vision changes