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Knowledge Is Power For Surviving The Cure For Childhood Cancer

San Diego, California (NAPSI) - According to the American Cancer Society, there’s some  good news about childhood cancer: The vast majority of children with cancer  will survive for many years.

While cancer remains the leading cause of death  by disease for children under the age of 15, more kids are living, more  families remain whole, and more days once filled with grief are spent  celebrating life.

The advancements in childhood cancer treatments are astounding. That said,  there are challenges that become more pressing every day as a result of this  positive trend. Treating cancer isn’t easy on the doctors, researchers  and, especially, the patients. With cancer, the goal is survival and the  methods are often harsh and come with long-term effects.

The Problem

For many children, survival is only half the battle. Certain health  problems called late effects often arise, including heart, lung and kidney  issues. Often, health care providers for adults who have survived childhood  cancer are in the dark as to what treatments were used and what the effects  may have been. This makes selecting the proper protocols for adulthood health  care very difficult.

A Resource

Drs. Lillian Meacham and Ann Mertens at the Aflac   CancerCenter  in Atlanta  understand these effects better than most and have dedicated their careers to  helping young people survive the cure as well as the cancer itself. They also  created SurvivorLink. Endowed in part by Aflac, it is the only statewide  Web-based data source for childhood cancer survivors.

Until recently, many childhood cancer survivors were unaware of the effect  their treatments could have on their long-term health. The site provides a  cache of information for doctors and nurses who treat cancer survivors. These  medical professionals can access health records online and understand the  diagnosis and treatments that were used to fight the cancer and better  approach future health care decisions armed with knowledge that in the past  was either forgotten or not recorded in an accessible format. Researchers  also use the source to study the long-term effect of chemotherapy and  radiation on children and develop new protocols.

David R. Freyer, Director of the LIFE Cancer Survivorship & Transition  Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Member of the  Survivorship & Outcomes Steering Committee of the Children’s  Oncology Group, agrees that SurvivorLink helps researchers and providers who  treat patients after the cancer is cured.

“Many young patients are unaware of the details around their cancer  treatments,” Dr. Freyer says. “SurvivorLink at the AflacCancerCenter  helps gather and coordinate treatment information that can be used to make  decisions that benefit childhood cancer survivors throughout their lives.”

Learn More

To find out more about SurvivorLink, go to To  find out more about Aflac’s $80 million commitment to children’s  cancer treatment and research, go to