During your teenage years, physical changes are a part of normal development. You may notice a difference in the way your body looks, feels and performs. But for teen cancer survivors, these changes are especially difficult.
Children with brain tumors or with acute lymphoblastic leukemia are most likely to have late effects in the brain, but any child treated for cancer is at a higher risk for learning disabilities, memory loss and social distress.
When eight-year-old Luke Gworek flips a switch during Roswell Park’s 2014 Tree of Hope celebration, nearly 75,000 lights will flash to music and shine from a towering tree in Kaminski Park. He can’t wait for the evening to arrive.
I have worked as a pediatric hematology and oncology nurse at Roswell Park for twenty years. I am also an active member of the Western New York Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON).
The types of cancers that develop in children are different from those that develop in adults. Lifestyle or environmental risk factors don’t play a role. Instead, it’s usually the result of DNA changes in cells that take place very early in life.