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Late effects, on the other hand, may happen many years later. This means that many different kinds of healthy, normal cells are dividing faster than they would be in an adult.Some types of chemo drugs can damage these cells and keep them from growing and developing the way they should.
But chemo drugs can damage normal cells, too, which can cause short-term and long-term side effects.
Chemotherapy damage to quickly dividing cells can cause side effects such as low blood cell counts, nausea, diarrhea, or hair loss during treatment.
These short-term side effects usually go away over time after treatment is over.
Today, because of advances in treatment, more than 8 out of 10 children treated for cancer survive at least 5 years, and most of these children are cured.
But the treatments that help these children survive their cancer can also cause health problems later on.
Most treatment side effects appear during or just after treatment and go away a short time later.
But some problems may not go away or may not show up until months or years after treatment. Because more children with cancer now survive into adulthood, their long-term health and these late effects have become a focus of care and research.
Careful follow-up after cancer treatment helps doctors find and treat any late effects as early as possible.
The follow-up schedule depends on many things, including the type of cancer the child had, the treatments used, the risk of late effects from those treatments, and other factors such as the patient’s age and how long it has been since treatment was completed. The treatments used vary from child to child and from one type of cancer to another.