What We Treat

About 80 percent of children and young adults diagnosed with cancer will survive. Sometimes treatment can affect patients’ health and quality of life for years to come. Health problems that occur after treatment are called late effects and may occur throughout the life of the survivor. These late effects can affect many areas including: learning, emotional health, growth, fertility, heart, lungs, kidneys and more.

Identifying and treating these problems early helps survivors lead a full life – performing to the best of their ability in school, growing and developing normally, feeling strong and resilient, and even having family of their own one day. 

Services We Offer

Comprehensive services

At the Aflac Cancer Center, we believe survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer who have been off treatment for approximately two years should have long-term follow-up care in a specialized survivor program. Blood & marrow transplant survivors treated for non-cancer conditions should also participate. Through our Survivor Program, we offer:

  • Multidisciplinary care focused on the survivor's needs
  • Review of the patient's medical history
  • Complete evaluation, including a physical exam, blood work and any other tests needed
  • A personalized plan of care based on national guidelines produced by the Children’s Oncology Group (COG)
  • Education about the risks of medical problems associated with the specific cancer treatments the survivor received
  • Help with school, job or insurance problems
  • Support for any physical or emotional changes or problems
  • Opportunities to enroll in research studies that focus on survivors and the late effects of treatment
  • Beyond the Cure, an annual conference held on the last Saturday of February to educate cancer survivors and their parents about late effects, survivorship and the need for life-long care

Tools for your journey

Lifelong care for cancer survivors

Many cancer survivors have to deal with one or more health problems, also known as late effects, due to their cancer treatment.

Risk for late effects vary by individual and by diagnosis and treatment. They can occur many years after treatment ends and may include physical, emotional or social issues such as:

  • Growth and developmental problems 
  • Learning disabilities and memory difficulties
  • Diseases of the heart and lungs
  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Secondary cancers
  • Infertility

To help prevent or prepare for potential problems, cancer survivors should receive long-term follow-up care. Lifelong survivorship care takes teamwork from:

  • Primary and adult primary care physicians 
  • Cancer survivor specialists: Healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable about the health concerns of cancer survivors. These providers can check for late effects of cancer treatment and identify ways to help prevent or reduce the risk of health problems following cancer care
  • Subspecialists, such as endocrine or heart doctors, to help prevent or treat specific health problems
  • Psychologists and educational or occupational specialists

Lifelong care for BMT survivors

Many blood and marrow transplant survivors have to deal with one or more health problems, also known as late effects, due to their cancer treatment. Late effects happen due to chemotherapy or radiation that was part of the transplant process. They also happen because of the body’s reaction to the transplant.

Risk for late effects vary by individual and by diagnosis and treatment. They can occur many years after treatment ends and may include physical, emotional or social issues such as:

  • Graft versus host disease (inflammation that occurs when the donor cells attack the body)
  • Growth and development problems
  • Learning and memory problems
  • Diseases of the heart and lungs
  • Kidney problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Vision and dental problems
  • Secondary cancers
  • Infertility

To help prevent or prepare for potential problems, transplant survivors should receive long-term follow up care. Lifelong survivorship care takes teamwork from:

  • Pediatric and adult primary care physicians
  • Survivor specialists: Healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable about the health concerns of blood and marrow transplant survivors. These providers can check for late effects of transplant and identify ways to help prevent or reduce the risk of health problems following cancer care
  • Subspecialists, like endocrine and heart doctors, to help prevent or treat specific health problems
  • Psychologists and educational or occupational specialists

Survivor Healthcare Plan (SHP)

Based on national guidelines, a Survivor Healthcare Plan (SHP) is a document our team creates for each survivor. This “roadmap to survivorship” is personalized based on each survivor's treatment and needs.

Each SHP includes a:

  • Medical summary of the survivor’s cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Individualized risk profile detailing what late effects (health problems) can occur after cancer treatment
  • Personalized surveillance plan that outlines tests a survivor needs to screen for late effects and how often to have certain tests

The SHP is also a helpful resource for your child’s other doctors, such as a primary care doctor, dentist, psychologist, school teacher or social worker. These doctors can use the SHP to quickly learn about a survivor’s cancer history and how to best care for him in the future.

SurvivorLink

Cancer SurvivorLink is a safe and secure website created for survivors of cancer and blood and marrow transplant and their healthcare providers to:

  • Learn about the life-long healthcare needs of survivors
  • Store their Survivor Healthcare Plan (SHP) and other healthcare documents
  • Share documents with their healthcare team

Medical professionals can access health records online to understand their patient's diagnosis and treatment. Armed with this knowledge, they are better prepared to make future health care decisions. 

The electronic system includes each patient’s:

  • SHP
  • Educational materials for survivors, families and providers
  • National guidelines for survivorship care
  • Links to useful resources for survivors 
  • Other clinical information needed to provide long-term care

Whether a patient resides in Georgia or has moved out of state, SurvivorLink eases communication and information sharing.

Learn more about SurvivorLink

Our Unique Approach

We are home to one of the leading childhood cancer survivor programs in the country. More than 85 percent of childhood cancer survivors experience a significant chronic health condition after treatment that may include physical, psychological and social issues. Founded in 2001, our program currently follows more than 1,500 childhood cancer and BMT survivors who are at least two years off therapy. 

Our highlights 

  • Our team developed SurvivorLink—a revolutionary Web-based tool for survivors and their care teams to learn about cancer survivorship, store important health documents and share those documents with healthcare providers.
  • Our staff is actively involved in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Survivorship working group and contributed to the Long-term Follow-up Guidelines for Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancers.
  • We are a member of a five-center consortium for intervention research on supportive care, health screening, health status, health behaviors and chemo prevention.
  • We are a participant in the national Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) that examines late effects of cancer treatment.
  • We provide services to help with school, job or insurance problems, as well as support for physical or emotional changes.

Innovative research

Through discovery, innovation and collaboration, researchers at the Aflac Cancer Center are searching for ways to improve the outcomes and quality of life for survivors of childhood cancer. 

Learn more about research at the Aflac Cancer Center


Helpful Resources

New patient forms

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Before your visit

Learn how to prepare for your visit to the Aflac Cancer Center, including information about our transitional housing options for families traveling from outside of Atlanta.

Get information and tips

Camps, events and support groups

Camps, retreats and other events offer many therapeutic benefits for children and families who are dealing with serious illness.

Camps, events and support groups

Second opinions and international services

We understand you want to be certain your child is receiving the best possible treatment available anywhere in the world. Second opinions can help provide the information you need to make an informed decision about the treatment for your child. For families traveling outside the U.S., we are here to help meet your unique needs and challenges.

Learn more about our second opinion services

Learn more about our international services

Donate

Learn how you can help make a difference in the life of a child battling cancer or a blood disorder.

Join the fight against childhood cancer and blood disorders

Learn more about how Aflac supports us

Meet the Team

Meet our cancer survivor team

Led by Lillian Meacham, MD, Medical Director of Cancer Survivorship, and Ann Mertens, PhD, Director of the Clinical Research Office, the Survivor team includes the following providers: