After Being Declared Cancer Free, Childhood Survivors Can Face Lifelong Effects

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 3:04pm
Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 5:50pm
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(Photo by Lauren Gilger - KJZZ)
Collin Preszler (left), 16-year-old childhood cancer survivor, and Sarah Okot, who survived childhood cancer and is now a certified child life specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

When a child is treated for cancer, and they’re finally declared cancer free, you’d think that would mean the end of their cancer journey. They’re now a “survivor” instead of a patient.

But, for most childhood cancer survivors, returning to school doesn’t mean the end of the road for them.

Among the estimated 600,000 childhood cancer survivors in the nation, two-thirds of them experience serious and even life-threatening secondary effects from toxic treatments like radiation and chemotherapy that they received as kids.

Collin Preszler was just 3 years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia. He said he doesn’t remember a lot of the treatment process.

Sarah Okot, who’s 33 now, spent years in treatment at Phoenix Children’s Hospital when she was a child.

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