• Clinical Services for Survivors of Childhood Cancer

    Dana-Farber / Children's Hospital Cancer Center logo

    Today, the majority of children diagnosed with cancer can expect to be long-term survivors. Survivorship comes with numerous complex issues, including long-term effects of treatment and social and psychological concerns.

    About the Perini Family Survivors' Center

    Two clinics within the Perini Family Survivors' Center at Dana-Farber are designed to specifically help childhood-cancer survivors and pediatric brain-tumor survivors. The clinics offer tailored care and services to help survivors of cancer access clinical, support, and educational resources.

    Childhood Cancer Survivors

    The David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic at Dana-Farber provides care and advocacy for survivors of childhood cancer, conducting research on the long-term effects of cancer treatments, and offering education and support for survivors of cancer.

    Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors

    The Stop & Shop Family Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Outcomes Clinic at Dana-Farber addresses the long-term needs of survivors of pediatric brain tumors. It also conducts research and shares its expertise with other centers.

    Changes in Survivorship Care

    In this video, Lisa Diller, MD, discusses changes in care and treatment of survivors of childhood cancers.

    Yawkey Tour video 
     

    Childhood Cancer Survivors

    About the Clinic

    If you were diagnosed with cancer at age 21 or younger and you have been off treatment for at least two years, you may benefit from the programs and services of the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic at Dana-Farber.

    The clinic gives survivors of childhood and adolescent cancers access to the expertise, education, and support needed to manage key issues related to survivorship, including the long-term effects of treatment, the risk of second cancers, and certain social and psychological concerns. Our physicians, nurses, researchers, and psychologists are experts in survivorship, and will work with you and your primary care physician to create a long-term care plan.

    We welcome all pediatric cancer survivors; you do not need to have been treated at Dana-Farber in order to be seen at the clinic.

    Our services

    When you visit the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic, your health care team will compile a list of treatments you had as a cancer patient, and then work with you to review the possible long-term side effects of those treatments. Our experts will help you learn how to care for yourself to help minimize the risk of future complications.

    After your clinic visit, you'll get a summary of recommendations that can serve as a useful guide to you and your primary care doctor. These may include tests and screenings that are recommended based on your particular cancer diagnosis and treatment regimen. This after-care summary will provide you with a guide for making healthy choices and improving your quality of life.

    Depending on your cancer diagnosis and treatment, you may also benefit from our programs and expertise in:

    • Cardiovascular (heart) health
    • Counseling for psychological or emotional difficulties
    • Developmental or learning challenges
    • Fertility
    • Physical activity and fitness
    • Nutrition
    • Support groups with other survivors of childhood cancers

    Education and Support Programs

    The David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic offers a wide range of educational resources and support groups for survivors of childhood cancers. For a full listing, check our calendar of events and support groups.

    Research

    The David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic is at the forefront of survivorship research, gathering important data on the long-term effects of childhood cancer treatment. We direct or participate in numerous local and national programs designed to improve care and knowledge for cancer survivors.

    Our researchers are helping develop more effective treatments, while at the same time finding ways to combat the long-term side effects of cancer treatment. This is part of our overall effort to provide the best possible quality of life for all cancer patients - past, present and future.

    When you visit our clinic, you may be eligible to participate in specific research studies, depending on your diagnosis and treatment. You can ask about such opportunities when you visit.

    Frequently asked questions

    Who does the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic support?

    To make an appointment in the pediatric survivorship clinic, you will need to have been off treatment for at least two years and been diagnosed with cancer at age 21 or younger.

    If you were diagnosed at age 22 or older, it may be more appropriate for you to be seen in Dana-Farber's Adult Survivorship Program.

    You do not need to have been treated at Dana-Farber in order to be seen in either the adult or pediatric survivorship clinic.

    What if I am an adult, but was diagnosed with cancer as a teen or child?

    Depending on your age, diagnosis, and treatment, it may be more appropriate for you to be seen in Dana-Farber's Adult Survivorship Program. To learn what might be best for you, call our clinic facilitator at 617-632-5124.

    How can I make an appointment?

    To make an appointment at the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic, please contact the clinic facilitator at 617-632-5124 or email Perini_Clinic@dfci.harvard.edu.

    What services does the pediatric survivorship clinic offer?

    The David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic gives you access to Dana-Farber experts in the long-term care of cancer survivors. Through the clinic, you can see specialists in radiation oncology, gynecology, endocrinology, and more. After your appointment, we will give you a set of recommendations for your follow-up care, which we also send to your primary care physician.

    When should I come to the pediatric survivorship clinic?

    You are welcome to visit the pediatric survivorship clinic at any time, as long as you've been off treatment for at least two years. People often come at times of transition in their lives, such as when they get married, start a family, or begin a new job.

    What if I already have a doctor?

    Even if you already have a primary care physician, you can still benefit from the clinic's services. A visit to the clinic can help you find health care providers who can address your needs, as well as the needs of your family. We recommend that survivors of childhood cancer meet regularly with an oncologist or oncology nurse practitioner who understands their medical history and long-term needs. For some patients, we may recommend an annual visit. For others, we may recommend visiting less frequently.

    How did the clinic start?

    David and Eileen Perini founded the clinic to honor the memory of their son and provide a resource for survivors of pediatric cancers. David B. Perini, Jr., was a young man who, despite his personal battle with cancer, lived a vibrant life devoted to improving the quality of life for others.

    Contact us

    To make an appointment at the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic, please call the clinic facilitator at 617-632-5124 or email Perini_Clinic@dfci.harvard.edu.

    To inquire about conferences, educational programs, support groups, or other administrative matters, please call 800-883-6012.

    Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors

    About the clinic

    The Stop & Shop Family Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Outcomes Clinic at Dana-Farber helps patients manage the long-term effects of surviving a childhood brain or spinal cord tumor. It gives survivors and family members access to Dana-Farber's survivorship expertise, educational resources, and support groups. We offer a dedicated resource to address the unique needs of survivors of pediatric brain tumors.

    When you visit the Outcomes Clinic, you can meet with specialists to address the medical, cognitive, and physical challenges of surviving a brain or spinal cord tumor. These challenges may include mild to severe memory loss, learning disabilities, difficulty with social adjustment, behavioral and emotional problems, seizures, slow growth, hormonal abnormalities, weight gain, and fertility issues, as well as a risk of second cancers.

    You can be seen in the Outcomes Clinic if you were treated for a brain or spinal cord tumor at age 21 or younger and you have been off treatment for at least two years. You do not need to have been treated at Dana-Farber in order to be seen in the clinic.

    Our services

    When you visit the Outcomes Clinic, our experts will work with you to learn about the challenges that you face, and find the resources and services that can help you overcome such challenges. At the end of your appointment, we'll give you a treatment plan, which is a summary of recommendations that can serve as a guide for living well and improving your quality of life.

    We offer:

    • Access to a team of specialists, including neuro-oncologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, psychologists, social workers, physical therapists, educators, genetic counselors, and more
    • Education and support specifically designed for survivors of brain or spinal cord tumors
    • Personalized information geared to adolescent and young adult survivors, including employment information, college resources, fertility experts, and help with relationships
    • Support groups, opportunities to meet with other survivors and family members, and practical tools to help you transition to survivorship support

    Education and support

    When you and your family members visit the Outcomes Clinic, you'll have access to a wide range of educational resources and support groups specifically designed for survivors of brain or spinal cord tumors. You'll also have the opportunity to meet with other individuals who face similar challenges. We cluster appointments together, so that survivors with similar diagnoses can visit us on the same day and have a chance to meet one another. If you wish, you can join in a group discussion about the challenges often faced by survivors of brain or spinal cord tumors.

    Dana-Farber offers a program called STEPS (Success Through Education, Psychosocial Support, and Socialization) that holds regular dinners where brain tumor survivors and their family members can meet to discuss common challenges and strategies. We also host an annual symposium for patients and experts from Dana-Farber working to address common issues faced by brain-tumor survivors as they transition from school to adulthood.

    Research

    The Outcomes Clinic puts a strong emphasis on research, using knowledge about past brain tumor care to minimize the consequences of current and future treatments. Our researchers are helping develop more effective treatments, while at the same time finding ways to combat the long-term side effects of cancer treatment. This is part of our overall effort to provide the best possible quality of life for all cancer patients — past, present and future.

    You may be eligible to participate in specific research studies, depending on your diagnosis and treatment. You can ask about such opportunities when you visit our clinic.

    Contact us

    To learn more or to make an appointment at the Stop & Shop Family Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Outcomes Clinic, please call the clinic facilitator at 617-632-2680 or email pedibraintumor@dfci.harvard.edu.

     
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    • U.S. News and World Report Best Children's Hospital Cancer 2012-2013 logoDana-Farber/ Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is a top ranked pediatric cancer hospital in the U.S. News & World Report 2012-13 Best Children's Hospitals guide.
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  • The Story of David’s Clinic

    • Screenshot from David's storyLearn more about David B. Perini, Jr., and the clinic he inspired.