Oncologist, Dr. Anel van Zyl, has emphasized the importance of providing long-term follow-up care for children who have completed their cancer treatment.
A recent study conducted by Stellenbosch University revealed that 91 percent of childhood cancer survivors will experience at least one health problem or complication after completing their treatment.
Van Zyl has called for childhood cancer treatment to be integrated into the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) plan in South Africa.
According to Van Zyl, the incorporation of childhood cancer treatment into the NHI plan would allow for the identification of survivors who are at low risk of experiencing late effects and those at high risk.
This information would guide the level of follow-up care and investigations required for each survivor. By identifying late effects early, healthcare professionals can intervene and improve the overall outcomes and quality of life for childhood cancer survivors.
The study’s findings highlight the importance of ongoing healthcare support for children who have battled cancer, ensuring that they have the opportunity to lead healthy and fulfilled lives after treatment.
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