Advancements in cancer care
There have been some incredible advances in the realm of cancer treatment in recent years. These include gene therapy, immunotherapy, improved bone marrow transplant procedures, and more. Still, most people undergo traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy at some point in their cancer treatment. Unfortunately, these treatments aren’t without their negative side effects. It’s well known that cancer treatments can have long-term side effects for patients. Some of these include lung problems, heart disease, and other heart problems from chemotherapy and radiation in the chest area. Others are hormonal and endocrine issues, such as infertility. In the case of HL, the impacts are serious. The negative side effects of treatment are so severe that 30-year survivors are more likely to die of treatment-related complications than from HL itself. While a high cure rate is a wonderful thing, more research needs to be done to determine how to maintain these high rates while reducing the negative side effects of the treatment.
Of course, Hodgkin’s lymphoma isn’t the only cancer impacting children. Other frequently diagnosed types of pediatric cancer include leukemias, brain and CNS tumors, thyroid cancer and melanoma. While there is no cure, survival rates for children with cancer has improved drastically in recent decades. Since 1975, the 5-year survival rate has jumped over 30%, to an 83% 5-year survival rate. A large part of what makes this feat possible is the care that adolescent patients receive at Children’s hospitals across the country.