Late effects clinics

After your treatment ends, it's important to have regular appointments with your cancer doctor to monitor your health, manage any long-term side effects and check that the cancer hasn’t come back or spread.

Sometimes it may seem hard to attend appointments, but it's worth the effort.

To assist in your follow-up care, ask your cancer specialist or nurse for a written summary of your cancer and treatment. They should also send a copy to your GP and other health care providers. This summary should include: 

  • the cancer type and features 
  • date of diagnosis
  • test results and staging information
  • overview of cancer treatment (types and dates).

Long-term follow up clinic at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick

The long-term follow up clinic (LTFU clinic) at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick has a cancer specialist, nurse coordinator, psychologist and social workers providing care for cancer survivors and their families. 

Doctors with expertise in other areas such as cardiology, orthopaedics and neurology can be called on by the team to help assess other health problems identified in survivors. 

When a survivor first attends the LTFU clinic, the patient will receive a record of the cancer treatment they received at the hospital. 

How long do I need to attend the LTFU clinic?

Long-term side effects of cancer and treatment come up wth with ageing and development. Continued follow-up care for for long-term cancer survivors is important as serious late effects may not show until many years after treatment ends.

The rate of secondary malignancies (second cancers) can present many years after treatment, while cardiotoxicity (heart damage) can develop 20 years after treatment.

Follow up needs to be life-long to provide maximum benefit. It is an ongoing opportunity for health education and cancer screening. 

Late effects clinic at The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Cancer treatment can cause side effects that happen years after treatment has ended. These effects include damage to the kidneys, liver, lung, heart, brain, reproductive organs, or a second cancer.

The risk of late effects depends on the type and amount of treatment that your child receives. Your child needs follow-up care by a cancer specialist throughout adulthood. This care will include getting tests done on a regular basis to look for late effects.

There is a Late Effects Clinic at CHW that your child will be referred to five years after the completion of therapy. They will discuss the plans for long term surveillance and encourage follow-up by GPs and adult services as appropriate.

Late effects and survivorship program

The 'late effects and survivorship program' cares for paediatric cancer patients into adulthood. It helps educate patients and their families about long-term health issues that can arise and how to manage childhood cancer survival. 

The program holds a monthly clinic which provides an assessment of the patient’s physical health, including medical history review, physical exam and screening tests.

Patients will receive education on late effects of treatment and a detailed treatment summary with recommendations for assessment and follow up.

Patients who did not receive cancer treatment at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick can also be referred to the program by their doctor. 

For more information, please contact:

Professor Richard Cohn

(02) 9382 1730 or richard.cohn@health.nsw.gov.au or

Karen Johnston

Late Effects Nurse Consultant

(02) 9382 1741 or karen.johnston@health.nsw.gov.au

Last updated Wednesday 26th June 2024