ON THIS PAGE: You will read about your child’s medical care after treatment is finished and why this follow-up care is important. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.
After treatment for DIG ends, talk with your child’s doctor about developing a follow-up care plan. This plan may include regular physical examinations and/or medical tests to monitor your child’s recovery for the coming months and years. All children treated for a brain tumor, including DIG, should have life-long, follow-up care.
After-treatment care recommendations are specific to each child, because there are many factors that can affect your child’s recovery from DIG, such as tumor location, whether the tumor could be removed, the need for and type of treatment after surgery, and your child’s age at the time of treatment. Follow-up MRI scans after surgery are often recommended to watch for signs of tumor recurrence or growth.
Based on the type of treatment your child received, the doctor will determine what examinations and tests are needed to check for long-term side effects and the possibility of secondary cancers. Your child’s doctor can recommend the necessary screening tests. Follow-up care should also address your child’s quality of life, including any developmental or emotional concerns. Learn more about childhood cancer survivorship.
The child’s family is encouraged to organize and keep a record of the child’s medical information. That way, as the child enters adulthood, he or she has a clear, written history of the diagnosis, the treatment given, and the doctor’s recommendations about the schedule for follow-up care. The doctor’s office can help you create this. This information will be valuable to doctors who care for your child during his or her lifetime. ASCO offers treatment summary forms to help keep track of the treatment your child received and develop a survivorship care plan once treatment is completed.
Children can also enhance the quality of their future by following established guidelines for good health into and through adulthood, including not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and participating in regular physical activity. Talk with your doctor about developing a plan that is best for your child’s needs. Learn more about the next steps to take in survivorship.
The next section offers a list of questions you may want to ask. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Questions to Ask the Doctor, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.