Childhood Cancer

Childhood Cancer Survivors

Chapter 10. Eyes and Ears

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor even touched. They must be felt in the heart.

Helen Keller

EYES AND EARS CAN BE DAMAGED by treatment for some types of childhood cancers. Each eye is constructed of several layers of tissue that each react differently to cancer treatment. Some parts of the eye are resistant to damage, but other parts are extremely sensitive to cancer treatment. Hearing can be affected by chemotherapy—most notably the family of drugs that includes cisplatin—and radiation. Frequent ear infections and certain intravenous antibiotics can also damage hearing. This chapter covers the various late effects involving eyes and ears, the risk of developing them, and how to manage them if they occur.