Why is the LATER outpatient clinic necessary?
Given that the number of childhood cancer survivors has increased, long-term side effects have emerged. These side effects deserve attention. It is known that 70% of all childhood cancer survivors develop one or more serious health issues. This is precisely why we have a team of experts at the Princess Máxima Center that regularly performs check-ups on survivors. In addition to this medical care, other important areas of interest of the LATER outpatient clinic include social and psychological care in combination with contact with fellow patients.
What is the LATER outpatient clinic?
If you have had cancer as a child or teenager, it is important that you are monitored and receive proper aftercare. Basically, you remain under medical care for the rest of your life. There is a special outpatient clinic for your check-ups, namely the LATER clinic of the Princess Máxima Center in Utrecht. All children with cancer have been treated at this Center since June 2018. Our aim is to cure every child with cancer, with maximum quality of life. Consequently, our care does not stop when treatment ends. At the LATER outpatient clinic, both children and adults from all over the country are examined for late effects of childhood cancer treatment. All knowledge and expertise in the field of these late effects is centralized in the LATER outpatient clinic. At the LATER clinic we can detect and treat late effects in an early stage, sometimes even before any complaints arise.
When will you be summoned?
Everyone who qualifies for the LATER outpatient clinic will be called up for an appointment. This is standard procedure and no cause for alarm. How often you are called up for a check-up depends on the type of cancer and the treatment you have had. It varies from once a year to once every five years.
What can you expect from a check-up appointment?
When you come to the LATER outpatient clinic an appointment has been arranged for you with the doctor who is interested to know how you are doing. The doctor will tell you more about possible late effects that may occur as a result of your disease history and treatment and will also perform a number of standard physical examinations. After your appointment with the doctor, you will often be referred for additional tests, such as a blood test, urine test, lung function test and/or an ultrasound of the heart. These tests are preferably scheduled on the same day. Which tests the doctor requests also depend on your specific situation and the treatments you have had. If necessary, the doctor can also refer you to other healthcare providers, such as another medical specialist, but also a psychologist if needed.
Scientific research at the LATER outpatient clinic
In order to continue to improve the treatment of childhood cancer, we also conduct scientific research in the LATER outpatient clinic. You might therefore be asked to participate in a research project. We will discuss this with you in advance and you will also receive an information letter. Participation in scientific research is voluntary and not mandatory.
Frequently asked questions about the corona virus
I have had cancer as a child, am I extra susceptible to the virus?
Survivors with specific late effects (eg from the heart or lungs) may experience more complaints. An international guideline with recommendations specific to child cancer survivors, based on data known in the general population, has recently been drawn up. The English version can be found here.
It also remains important to follow the RIVM guidelines:
• Stay at home with symptoms of cough, if you have a cold or a fever. Limit social contacts.
• Even if you have no complaints, work at home as much as possible or try to spread your workings hours.
• Wash your hands with water and soap regularly.
• Cough and sneeze on the inside of your elbow.
• Use paper tissues.
• No handshakes
For more information, we refer you to www.RIVM.nl and www.vokk.nl
If you have complaints, follow the RIVM guidelines: https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/questions-and-answers#personalhealth
Do you have a fever or difficulty breathing? Contact your own doctor. If you have any questions about whether you can go to work, please contact your own doctor and/or the company doctor.
Does your doctor or specialist have specific questions about your situation? They can contact us at (088) 9727272 or (088) 9725051.
If you still have questions about your personal situation, please contact the LATER-clinic: (088) 9727272 of (088) 9725051.
My LATER clinic appointment is canceled. When will I be able to come again?
The LATER clinic of the Princess Máxima Center has been temporarily closed and will gradually start again from May 11th. The LATER clinic will contact you for a new appointment.
More information about childhood cancer and late effects can be read on the website of the Netherlands Paediatric Oncology Foundation (SKION, Stichting Kinderoncologie Nederland in Dutch) or at VOX, the network of people who had cancer as a child and part of the Assocation of Parents, Children and Cancer (VOKK, Verening Ouder Kinderen en Kanker in Dutch). You can also contact VOX if you want to come in contact with other people who have had childcancer.