Frequently Asked Questions About Childhood Cancer Survivorship

Who is considered a survivor?

There are many ways to define a survivor of pediatric cancer. Our program sees survivors of childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer who are at least two years from the completion of all cancer therapy.

Who may use our cancer survivorship services?

Anyone who was treated for a cancer in childhood, adolescence or young adulthood and is now at least two years from the completion of all cancer therapy can make an appointment. There is no upper age limit. Patients who have graduated to yearly appointments with an oncologist are likely to benefit from a visit to our program and should ask for more information about our clinic. We are available for a one-time consultation or for visits on a regular basis.

Does my primary oncologist need to refer me to the Cancer Survivorship Program?

No. All eligible survivors may call us directly for more information and appointments.

Many patients are referred by their primary oncologists or primary care physicians but a referral is usually not required.

Will I see my primary oncologist on the day I come to the Survivorship Clinic?

The Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program is a different team of physicians and nurse practitioners who will care for you. Your visit will not be with your primary oncologist, but we let your primary oncologist know you are coming so that they can say hello if they are available. We also make sure that they receive a copy of the visit summary so that they know how you are doing.

Does the Cancer Survivorship team work with my primary care provider?

Yes. It is very important that we work with your primary care physician to coordinate your care. We think our program provides the perfect partnership and complement to the care you receive from your primary care physician in the community.

After your clinic visit, we will send a letter to your primary care physician, summarizing your history and providing guidance for follow-up care.

I don't have any long-term problems from my cancer therapy. Do I really need to come to the Survivorship Clinic?

Many survivors are doing very well now and have few, if any, medical problems related to their cancer therapy. Survivors who see a family practitioner, internist or pediatrician regularly will still benefit from our services. Although there may not be any late effects at this time, it is important for every cancer survivor to know about their treatment and to understand how that treatment may have the potential for long-term complications. Recommendations for follow up screenings based on types of treatment received are being updated annually.

Can survivors who were not treated at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital be seen in the Survivorship Clinic?

Yes, anyone treated for a childhood cancer in childhood, adolescence or young adulthood can be seen. We will request that medical records from the treating institution be sent to us before you come.

How do I make an appointment with the Cancer Survivorship Program?

To make an appointment with the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program, call 503-494-0200 and ask for our program coordinator, Lori Knowles. Our team sees patients on Friday afternoons in Portland and will soon begin seeing patients in Salem, OR. Our multi-disciplinary team reviews every patient's chart before the visit and we will let you know what blood work and other screenings are recommended.

Will insurance cover a visit to the Cancer Survivorship Program?

Yes, a visit to our clinic is usually covered by insurance. However, coverage varies depending on the insurance company. Be sure to check with the insurance company before making an appointment.

You can also direct your questions about insurance coverage and visit referrals to the Oncology division's financial counselor at 503 418-5149. More information about insurance and survivorship care

What if I don’t have medical insurance currently?

We can refer you to an OHSU financial specialist to help you find out if you meet qualifications to receive financial assistance.

What if I have a question or concern that is not answered here?

Our team is available at any time. If you have questions, comments or concerns, feel free to call 503-494-0200. We will make sure that you are directed to the correct resource.