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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) is recognized every September to bring awareness to those affected by childhood cancer. At Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, our hematology and oncology department provides more services for pediatric cancer and blood diseases than any other center in the region. One of those services, the Doernbecher  Cancer Survivorship Program, helps patients who have recovered from childhood cancer build a roadmap to a happy, healthy future in remission. 
 
“Survivorship is a very important and exciting milestone that should be celebrated. But unfortunately, being cancer-free doesn’t mean the end of a medical journey. For the majority of patients, it is often the start of a brand-new chapter of health care that could last a lifetime.”
Sue Lindemulder, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics (hematology and oncology), OHSU Doernbecher
 
Thanks to advances in medical treatment, more than 80 percent of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer will one day reach remission.  Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used to treat many forms of cancer successfully, but can often cause long-term health concerns such as heart disease, infertility, dental problems and bone and joint issues. Cancer survivors will also often experience social and emotional health challenges due to developmental delays and trauma caused by their illness at a young age.
 
The Survivorship Program at Doernbecher provides personalized care to cancer survivors to help navigate and manage their health needs. Program leader Dr. Sue Lindemulder leads a team of collaborative health care providers, nurses, social workers, educational specialists, neuropsychologists, dentists and dietitians to provide both medical guidance to patients as well as help connect them to resources that will get them the help that they need. Right now, the clinic operates once a week at Doernbecher and once a month in Salem.

While the road ahead may be long and full of twists, the Survivorship Program removes a little of the mystery and allows for participants to live a healthy cancer-free life. 

You can learn more about the Doernbecher Cancer Survivorship Program here.