Patricia Wills Bagnato
Baylor College of Medicine, USA
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Clin Pediatr
Nurses caring for children with cancer on active treatment or survivors of childhood cancer must be knowledgeable about the diagnosis, treatments, potential toxicities, and long term complications patients and families may experience. Nurses in the community will be highly likely to encounter a survivor of childhood cancer in routine clinical practice. 18.8/100,000 children are diagnosed with cancer annually in the United States. Surveillance, epidemiology, and end-results (SEER) data on 5-year relative survival rates (1973-1987) for the most common pediatric tumors ages 0-14, indicated survival from some cancers as low as 27 to 47% at that time. As a result of extensive research and improvements in therapies, survival in the United States has increased to nearly 90% in 2016. One in 530 adults, or 375,000 adults, is survivors of childhood cancer. Improvement in treatment is due in large part to the collaborative efforts of children oncology treatment groups, improved supportive care, and the utility of multidisciplinary treatment teams. Additionally, current studies looking at new targeted therapies are demonstrating promising results in improving the survival of some of the more aggressive diseases. This overview of common childhood malignancies, treatment modalities, side effects, long term complications and impact on family dynamics will empower the pediatric nurse with information so as to avoid misconceptions and fears about caring for a child on active cancer treatment, or who is a survivor of childhood cancer.