There are over 350,000 survivors of childhood cancer in the United States today. Two-thirds of these individuals are likely to experience at least one late effect of treatment, and almost one-fourth will face a late effect that is serious or life-threatening. Childhood cancer survivors may face a range of late effects of their disease and treatment, including second cancers, heart and lung damage, osteoporosis, financial pressures, psychosocial issues, employment and fertility problems.
A 2003 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report titled, “Childhood Cancer Survivorship: Improving Care and Quality of Life” (co-edited by the founder of the Children’s Cause) analyzes issues around care for this population and proposes a policy agenda that would improve health care delivery, strengthen investments in education and training, and expand research around late effects and health disparities. Legislation to improve the long-term outlook for survivors of childhood cancer has been introduced in Congress and is derived from the IOM report recommendations.
Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship Research and Quality of Life Act
On September 22, 2011, Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Representatives Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship Research and Quality of Life Act (S.1613/H.R.3015). This legislation will:
Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy (CCCA) worked closely with Members of Congress and Congressional staff to craft provisions and garner Congressional support for the introduction of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship Research and Quality of Life Act. CCCA is committed to advancing this critical legislation to improve the care and quality of life for survivors of childhood cancer by meeting with Congressional staff, educating members of Congress, advocates, other childhood cancer groups and the public about the importance of this bill to the care and quality of life of survivors of childhood cancer.
On March 26, 2012, the Alliance for Childhood Cancer sent a letter to Members of Congress supporting the legislation. The letter included CCCA's signature, as a member of the Alliance.