How often and for how long should you go to medical follow-up examinations?

That depends on the original type of cancer and treatment you received. A medical checkup is recommended every 3 to 5 years, even for people in a good state of health.

What happens when you do not receive any more offers for follow-up care from the children’s hospital?

The parents of children or adolescents can contact the paediatric clinic and ask if it would be a good idea to have a medical checkup. Adults can organise follow-up examinations with their own GP (general practitioner). If in doubt, you can ask your former treatment centre if, and when you might need a medical checkup.

Can the cancer treatment (e.g. chemotherapy or radiotherapy) have negative consequences for any children I might have in the future?

No. The children of former cancer patients do not have a higher risk of getting cancer or other serious diseases, or being born with birth defects.

Can cancer be inherited?

Usually cancer cannot be inherited. There are very rare forms of cancer which can be inherited, such as retinoblastomas (eye cancer in children).

Where can I get help and support in coping with my illness?

The experiences you have during this illness can have emotional and psychological consequences. If you feel unable to cope on your own, or need more support than you are getting from your family, friends and other cancer patients then you should get counselling, psychological or psychiatric help.  This does not mean that you have a mental illness, just that you need a bit of extra help for a short period of time. Usually this psychological or psychiatric support is only needed for a few months, and it is more effective the sooner it starts.

How can I get more information about problems other cancer survivors might have? How can I meet or contact other cancer survivors?

The „Kinderkrebshilfe Schweiz“ website www.kinderkrebshilfe.ch has got links to activities of interest groups.

The Childhood Cancer Survivors Switzerland is a large support group for former childhood cancer patients, i.e. young people who have finished treatment for cancer they had as children or adolescents. For more information visit www.survivors.ch

There are other websites you can visit, without having to join a group, e.g.:





www.beyondthecure.org (English)

www.teenagecancertrust.org (English)


© ISPM - University of Bern 2019