With 80 percent of childhood cancer victims cured of the disease today, the need to address the complex issues that the young survivors face in the aftermath of treatment led the Hadassah University Medical Center to establish a Childhood Cancer Survivor Clinic.
Under the directorship of Dr. Michael Weintraub, head of the Department of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, and Nurse Manager Chanie Stoffer, the Survivor Clinic currently cares for over 1,000 survivors of childhood cancer. The multidisciplinary staff help the survivors deal with deleterious effects of chemotherapy and radiation, new cancers that develop later on as a result of cancer treatment, and psychosocial and adjustment issues as the children reintegrate into normal life. Children may, for example, struggle with fear of relapse, being labeled by society as cancer patients, and physical handicaps caused by their cancer.
Hadassah’s Clinic staff work in concert with specialists from the fields of rehabilitation, cardiology, pulmonology, audiology, ophthalmology, endocrinology and fertility, psychology, psychiatry, special education, and social work to ease the road ahead for these survivors. The Clinic team also reaches out to many community agencies to ensure that survivors receive adequate intervention to cope with any disabilities they may have.
In addition, the Survivor Clinic team is engaged in clinical research on childhood cancer outcomes and interventions. Current research topics include: the quality of life for survivors of childhood eye cancer (retinoblastoma), the long-term vascular complications of childhood cancer treatment, and patterns of obesity and hypercholesterolemia in survivors of childhood cancer.