Physical development in an Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) survivor
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
Height is determined by an individual's genetic make-up but sometimes it does not follow precisely the parents' heights. Also, treatment for cancer can reduce the growth potential. In order to learn whether your child was affected by treatment or leukemia, you should discuss this with her physician. An endocrinologist can specifically help you determine whether she will be able to have additional growth. There are specialized follow-up clinics for children who have been cured of cancer that are most commonly located at major children's cancer centers that can be very helpful in this situation. There are also other late side effects that can be picked up early and effectively dealt with when a patient is followed in a specialized clinic for childhood cancer survivors.
Anna Meadows, MD, Pediatric Oncologist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Director of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania's Survivorship Research Program, responds: