Children's cancer treatments have made truly remarkable progress. In just 60 years, childhood cancer has gone from being almost incurable to a disease with an overall cure rate of 80 percent. Thanks to improvements in chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, as well as the implementation of new modalities, there are over 350,000 children, teens and young adults in the United States who are survivors of childhood cancer. This number will continue to grow.
Founded in 2008, the Survivors Facing Forward program at Cohen Children’s has grown to be among the top survivorship programs in the New York area, serving more than 600 survivors of childhood cancer. The program meets the complex needs of young patients living with cancer and provides coordinated access to oncology, endocrinology, pulmonology, cardiology, psychology, nutrition and other specialized services as needed.
As many of our patients grow up, they experience health problems related to their cancer treatment - both obvious and hidden. To ensure that survivors stay healthy and live long lives after treatment, it is extremely important to have a personalized, risk-based health maintenance plan that includes appropriate screening. Often, these plans can only be obtained from a survivorship program such as Survivors Facing Forward.
Survivors Facing Forward aims to improve our patients’ overall health and quality of life, decrease the effects of complications associated with prior cancer treatments and provide a comfortable, comprehensive and accessible patient experience. It also serves as a resource center for other healthcare professionals caring for survivors.
Program goals include:
- Improving the health and well-being of our patients with personalized, coordinated care
- Educating patients, parents and healthcare professionals about the long-term effects of childhood cancer treatment
- Providing referrals to specialists as needed
- Offering psychological and/or social counseling as needed
- Offering opportunities to participate in research to improve the lives of survivors
Who should be seen?
The Survivors Facing Forward program is appropriate for patients who:
- Were treated in any oncology program
- Completed treatment at least three years ago
- Are free of cancer