It can be a long road from diagnosis to survivorship, but with the guidance of the survivorship program, the journey is made easier by the coordinated services. In the Next Steps Clinic, participants and families have access to a team of specialists who are experienced in the issues faced by childhood cancer and bone marrow transplant survivors. The clinic allows survivors and their families the opportunity to ask questions and get answers about past treatment and future needs. Clinic appointments are scheduled for two to three hours and cover almost every aspect of survivorship.
During appointments, survivors have access to many different specialists:
- A nurse parctioner or doctor performs a physical assessment.
- A nurse educator reviews the patient's chart and provideds education on recommended follow-up and potential late effects of treatment.
- A nutritionist reviews the patient's growth and development since treatment and provides education on proper nutrition and any special considerations based on the treatment received.
- A social worker assesses any needs the patient may have related to accessing community resources.
- A psychologist is available to review any mental health concerns.
- A teacher is available to assist with any learning needs, identify any special concsiderations needed based on treatement and to assist with school advocacy if needed.
What are the benefits of the Next Steps Clinic?
Anyone who has had a cancer or a bone marrow transplant may experience related health issues later in life. The team teaches survivors and their families how to monitor and manage possible late effects for a healthy life.
The goals of the clinic are to:
- Identify any potential late effects from cancer treatment and create a plan to address them.
- Educate each survivor on the therapy he or she received and what it may mean for future medical care.
- Provide guidance on healthy lifestyle behaviors and good nutrition.
- Offer support for school, vocational and social issues.
- Help make connections to the resources available to childhood cancer survivors.
- Provide a comprehensive summary of treatment and ongoing medical needs to the survivor and his or her primary and specialty care physicians.
All team members have expertise in caring for children and families affected by cancer and bone marrow transplants. They work closely with families to make sure all questions are answered.
The clinic is available the second and fourth Wednesday of every month in the MACC Fund Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, 2nd floor, Children's Hospital, Milwaukee.
To schedule an appointment, call (414) 266-2774. Some patients may require additional appointments at the hospital. These will be scheduled on the same day whenever possible.