Rehabilitation for children and young people surviving a brain tumor, and their transition to adult services: the main challenges

Veronica Biassoni, Maura Massimino, Maria Chiara Oprandi, Carlo Alfredo Clerici, Laura Veneroni, Claudia Corti, Elisabetta Schiavello, Filippo Spreafico, Geraldina Poggi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: It is well known that, with advances in the treatment of cancer patients achieving a 5-year overall survival of over 75% nowadays, pediatric neuro-oncologists are worried about long-term sequelae that frequently demand lifelong care and multiple specialist skills.
Areas covered: This review aims to discuss the main issues concerning cancer survivors’ disabilities and rehabilitation, including cognitive and neuropsychological aspects, language and social skills, the return to school, starting or returning to work, endocrinological impairments, and supportive measures. The review also covers some experimental rehabilitation pathways based on advanced tools or techniques to provide an overview of the currently-available options for improving patients’ quality of life. We have included our findings deriving from a lengthy experience (2000–2015) of assessing brain tumor patients and managing their intensive tailored rehabilitation.
A case report on a patient’s coping with childhood cancer into adult life has been added to give a pragmatic example of the psychological needs and difficulties of young cancer survivors during the necessary transition from pediatric age into adulthood adaptation.
Expert commentary: It is important to stress that the tremendous progress made to date in our knowledge of pediatric neuro-oncology and in our management of patients has to be accompanied by a day-to-day effort to provide for their tailored rehabilitation, striving to bridge the gap that separates them from the normal life and experiences of their healthy peers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-152
JournalExpert Review of Quality of Life in Cancer Care
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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