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What Adults Who Were Treated As Children for Primary Bone Cancer Should Know About Late Effects

If you were a child or adolescent when you were treated for bone cancer, you could have longer lasting effects called late effects. These can appear months or years after treatments end. The kind of late effects a person has depends on the location of the tumor and the way it is treated.

Some types of chemotherapy can later affect your fertility. When this side effect is permanent, you may be infertile. This means it is not possible for you to have children. This can be true for both men and women.

Radiation therapy can increase the chance that a second tumor will later develop in the area that was treated. Some chemotherapy drugs can also increase the risk of second cancers later in life.

Some treatments may also cause long-term damage to the heart, lungs, or other organs. You may be at risk for neurological, developmental, and learning problems, as well.  

If you were a child or teen who was treated for primary bone cancer, make sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Continue to follow up with your health care team after treatments end. The Children's Oncology Group has developed guidelines for the long-term follow-up of adults who had cancer as a child or teen, including bone cancer. Ask you doctor if he or she follows these guidelines.  

  • Follow guidelines for living a healthy life, such as not smoking and eating a balanced diet.

  • Get help from family, support groups, and counselors.


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