Childhood Cancer

Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

Chapter 22: End of Treatment and Beyond

The best formula for longevity: Have a chronic disease, and cure it.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

THE LAST DAY OF TREATMENT is a time for both celebration and fear. Most families are thrilled that the days of pills and procedures have ended, but some fear a future without treatments to keep the disease away. Concerns about relapse are an almost universal parental response at the end of treatment; but for many families, the months and years roll by without recurrence of the tumor.

However, most children and teens have lingering or permanent effects from treatment for a brain or spinal cord tumor. This chapter covers the emotional and physical aspects of ending treatment, the need for excellent medical follow-up, and employment and health insurance issues.