|CANCER & TREATMENTS FOR CANCER CENTER PATIENTS PREVENTION & RISK ASSESSMENT CLINICAL TRIALS & RESEARCH LIVING WITH CANCER|
Researchers believe 40 to 50 percent of children treated for cancer are at risk for long-term cognitive side effects . . . side effects that affect thinking and learning
The Four W's1). Who should be tested?
All children who receive cancer treatment that affects the brain should be tested. This includes children who have had cranial radiation or intrathecal chemotherapy, particularly kids treated at a very young age. "Not all children will have these problems, but it's better to know early," said Marcia Leonard, director of the U-M Pediatric Can-cer Survivorship Program.
2). When should you be tested?
At major developmental steps: 18 months to 2 years old; kindergarten; third grade; start of middle school; start of high school; high school graduation.
3). What are the signs?
Problems can be subtle and may not start showing until middle school or later. Warning signs include a sudden drop in performance between elementary school and middle school; difficulty completing homework in a reasonable time frame; drop in motivation or frustration over homework.
4). Where can we get help?
The U-M Long-Term Follow-Up Clinic provides neuropsychological testing referrals for appropriate patients. Oncologists will refer patients to the follow-up clinic when they are three years out of treatment.
Parent to Parent AdviceBe your child's advocate.
You're responsible for your child's best interests. Be patient and persistent to get the help you need. If the Individualized Education Plan isn't leading to progress, ask for a meeting.
Know your rights.
But, be nice.
Find a way to be a presence in your child's school.
Make playtime a priority.