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Childhood cancer bill

| Monday, May 29, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

“Your child has cancer.” Every day, the parents of 43 children hear those words for the first time. Over 15,000 families hear those words every year.

While childhood cancer remains a leading cause of death, many childhood cancers are successfully treated. Yet even after beating cancer, two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors suffer late effects of treatment such as organ damage, infertility and secondary cancers.

In February, the Childhood Cancer STAR (Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research) Act was reintroduced in Congress (HR 820 and S 292). This act could tremendously impact childhood cancer survivors. It makes childhood cancer a priority through expanding research on treatment and long-term effects and creating programs to support survivors.

As a pediatric oncology nurse, I have seen too many young adults who survived cancer in childhood fall through the cracks as they transition to adult care. It is essential that we help support these survivors as they face the effects of treatment later in life.

This legislation would enhance provider collaboration to care for the large population of individuals who have been cured of cancer, but continue to face significant late effects.

Jordan Coltura

Sewickley Township,

Westmoreland County

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