Teen girls selfie

I had cancer as a child

You are one of an increasing number of teenagers and young adults who have been treated successfully for childhood cancer. Nowadays, there are over 35,000 survivors of childhood cancer in the UK so you are not alone.

You may have many questions as to how your diagnosis and treatment may affect your future life. Children and young people who have completed cancer treatment are now given an end of treatment summary which details the type of cancer they had and the treatment they received so they have a full record.

However, if you were treated a long time ago then you may not have this information and may know very little about your condition.

This is important because approximately 60% of childhood cancer survivors will have a problem or 'late effect' related to their treatment. For some this will be very minor, for others it may be more major and can affect the body in many ways. Being a cancer survivor can also affect other areas such as what types of jobs you apply for, planning for a family, life insurance and mortgages.

Attending the long-term follow-up clinic where you received your treatment will enable specialists to monitor you so that any late effects can be detected and managed.

Late effects factsheets

The CCLG Late Effects Group, currently chaired by Professor Rod Skinner (Consultant Paediatric Oncologist based at the Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle), is an active network of professionals who specialise in late effects in childhood and young adult cancer survivors. They are currently working on a series of patient information factsheets in conjunction with Aftercure: Guide for teenagers and young adult survivors of childhood cancer.  

Where do I go for more information about my past medical history?

The hospital where you received cancer treatment as a child will still be able to access your medical records. This will show the type of cancer you had, the age when you were treated, and what treatment you received. From this information, doctors will be able to make a clinical judgement as to what, if any, late effects might occur.

If you have any questions regarding your previous cancer or late effects, please contact the Late Effects service within the paediatric oncology department at the hospital where you were treated who will be able to help you and answer your questions.