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When the Cancer Patient Isn't a Kid Anymore

CHICAGO – Every parent of a teenager has heard some variation of the demand, "Stop treating me like a kid!" The same can be said for adolescent and young adult survivors of childhood cancers, investigators say.

With childhood cancer survivorship rates hovering around 80% (according to Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results data from 1996 to 2003), many patients are outgrowing their pediatricians and their pediatric oncologists. The patients still need regular follow-up, but just who will do that follow-up and how thoroughly is still an open question, said Dr. Karim Thomas Sadak, a pediatric oncology fellow at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

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