Cancer Survivorship Service

LIFE Cancer Survivorship & Transition Service

When someone treated for cancer as a child becomes an adult, a number of challenges arise. Experts recommend that all survivors continue to receive regular medical care for the rest of their adult lives.

In addition, as they become adults, survivors often need expert assistance with tasks like finding and keeping health insurance, continuing their education, choosing a suitable career, adjusting their role within their families and developing new relationships.

Experts recommend that all childhood cancer survivors receive life-long care to monitor for the development of late effects, to detect them as early as possible, to manage them when they occur, and to prevent or reduce the risk for late effects, whenever possible. In addition, each survivor and his/her family should be well informed, through education, about what late effects might occur and how the risks can be reduced by taking practical steps to stay healthy.

The Long-Term Information, Follow-Up and Evaluation (LIFE) Cancer Survivorship & Transition Service at Children's Hospital Los Angeles provides services that help empower cancer survivors to embrace their future as healthy and fulfilled individuals. The service, started nearly 20 years ago, is a key part of the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases.

Services offered include:

  • Medical evaluation and care management
  • Emotional and social support
  • Health education
  • Assistance with transition health care to adult medical centers

Many young adult survivors also need assistance with obtaining health insurance, continuing school education and finding meaningful work that is a good fit for the individual. To meet these needs, the LIFE Clinic offers a special service for continuing care of adult survivors of childhood cancer, called the Adolescent and Young Adult Program.

Once the childhood cancer survivor becomes an adult, long-term follow-up care should include physicians and other health care providers, who are experts in adult care. The care should also be provided in an environment that is more suitable for adults. This switch from child-oriented to adult-focused care is called transition of care, and life-long monitoring for late effects must continue.

  • Clinic Visit
  • Health Checklist
  • For Health Professionals
  • LIFE Team
  • Referrals
  • Research
  • School Support
  • Support Our Program
  • Survivor Resources
  • Warning Signs

The LIFE Program’s services are available through the LIFE Clinic, which is staffed by a team of specialists including a physician, nurse practitioners and a medical social worker, with expertise in providing long-term follow up services to survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer. In addition, the team conducts research and provides professional training experiences in cancer survivorship for health professionals.

About Your Visit

During your visit to our LIFE Clinic, we will:

  • Review your medical history, with emphasis on cancer history and treatment
  • Perform a physical examination
  • Order diagnostic tests depending on past cancer treatment, such as blood tests, echocardiograms, pulmonary function tests, bone density scans, etc.
  • Identify current and potential health problems related to cancer treatment
  • Assess emotional health, social functioning, health insurance, educational status and career plans/status
  • Make recommendations for continued health monitoring and management specific to the type of cancer and treatment received
  • Provide information about potential late effects and how to optimize health and wellness
  • Provide special support for survivors with school difficulties through our specially designed program called the Achieving Best Cognitive Outcomes in Childhood Cancer Survivors (ABCs Service) that addresses school support.
  • Provide assistance in transition from pediatric to adult care
  • Provide support for you and your family members
  • Provide information about community resources that may be helpful to survivors
  • Provide opportunities for participating in survivorship research

Shortly following the visit, referrals are made as needed to any other specialty doctors or providers. Within a few weeks after the visit, a clinical summary is mailed to the survivor, the survivor’s primary care physician and any other consultants to outline the relevant medical issues and recommendations for follow up.

In addition to long-term follow up for cancer related issues, it is very important for all survivors to have ongoing primary medical care for other health and wellness needs. The following are general guidelines from our care providers regarding things you can do to take care of yourself.

  • Select a primary care doctor you feel comfortable with and have a complete check up every year.
  • Make sure you follow the appropriate health steps recommended by doctors for anyone of your age. This includes having a checkup once a year, with a physical examination, blood count, urinalysis and other recommended tests.
  • Follow recommendations for detection of adult cancers. Your doctor will tell you how often you will need to have screening tests done for cancer of the breast, colon, thyroid and other organs.
  • Practice breast self-examination (women) or testicular self-examination (men) regularly.
  • Get annual flu vaccine and make sure your immunizations are up to date. It is highly recommended that you be seen once a year by a doctor to address the health needs and life issues of childhood cancer survivors. Make sure you understand your special health care needs based on the type of cancer and treatment you had and your current state of health.
  • Get plenty of exercise:
    • Aerobic exercise - Five times per week for 30 minutes or one hour/day (ages 6-17).
    • Strength/weight training - Two times per week using proper technique.
    • Eat regular healthy meals - www.nutrition.gov
    • Get enough sleep every night (Eight hours per night is best)
    • Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum
    • Avoid the use of recreational drugs and tobacco products
    • Minimize sun exposure and use sunscreen and hats when outside
    • Practice safe sex
  • Make sure to let your health care providers know if you change your address, telephone number, or your name so that they will be able to keep in touch with you.
  • Obtain copies and organize your medical records in a file or binder. Include copies of your cancer treatment summary and recent test results (MRI, CT scan, lab tests, etc.) so that they are available if needed for comparison.
  • Pay attention to your emotional health as well. Be aware of symptoms of depression and anxiety. These symptoms may include long periods of sadness, irritability, hopelessness, a change in eating or sleep patterns, more difficulty with daily functioning at school/work and problems with interpersonal relationships. There are effective treatments for these conditions and seeking help when problems arise is important. You can contact your primary care doctor or your long-term follow-up clinic for counseling and mental health referrals.
  • Learn about survivor-oriented resources, support groups, Internet listservs, workshops and/or conferences. Information can be found by searching the Internet and contacting organizations that provide survivor services.
  • Obtain your high school diploma and then try to obtain the highest degree you can in a field that interests you. Seek out help from a high school guidance counselor or college admissions office to explore your options for higher education. Also, there are many online resources to assist you in choosing an educational and career path. Check out www.knowhow2gocalifornia.org, www.bls.gov/k12/, or www.whodouwant2b.com. Our printable resource guide (found under Information for Survivors tab on this website) has other resource suggestions. And just remember, obtaining a good education will most likely improve your chances of finding a job that offers good health insurance benefits.
  • Try to maintain health insurance if at all possible. Current federal law allows young adults to remain on their parents’ employer-sponsored health insurance until the age of 26. After this time, the most affordable and practical way to obtain it is through group coverage as a job benefit from your employer. You can also apply for a private health insurance policy on your own, though these plans are often more expensive. Most states also offer insurance programs for those with pre-existing conditions, commonly referred to as “high risk pools.” There are some government aid programs available (i.e. Medicaid/Medi-cal) but eligibility is based on disability and very low income, so most healthy survivors do not qualify for this type of program. Don’t count on them! For up to date information on the Affordable Care Act and options for accessing health care insurance, visit www.healthcare.gov or www.coveredca.org.
  • Try to maintain health insurance continuously. It is more difficult to obtain health insurance if you have had a lapse in coverage. For example, if you are changing jobs, take advantage of COBRA to have continuous health insurance coverage with no gaps. Know your legal rights about health insurance coverage for cancer survivors. The Cancer Legal Resource Center offers assistance to survivors with insurance questions and problems. https://disabilityrightslegalcenter.org/cancer-legal-resource-center Know your rights as a cancer survivor. Discrimination against you in the workplace because of your cancer history is against the law. We invite you to explore the website of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (www.canceradvocacy.org) to learn your rights as a survivor. You also have the right to special accommodations in school if you have any long-term effects from your diagnosis or treatment. If you seem to be struggling at school, talk to a specialist familiar with health needs and life issues of childhood cancer survivors to see if it is related to the kind of cancer you had and/or your treatment. You may have the right to be given more time for tests, have a note taker or be provided with other types of special accommodations. You can register with the Office for Students with Disabilities at your college or university in order to learn about services and accommodations that may be available to you.

About Consultations and Referrals

Patients of any age (including adults) who are survivors of childhood cancer may be referred to the LIFE Program for a comprehensive consultation.

Services include:

  • A review of prior cancer treatment
  • Current health inventory
  • Physical examination
  • Psychosocial assessment
  • Diagnostic testing (if indicated)
  • Recommendations for long-term medical monitoring
  • In-depth discussion with the patient/family

Depending on the preference of the patient and referring physician, this can be a one-time evaluation or include continued annual follow-up. In either case, you will receive a detailed clinical report from our evaluation of your patient.

Contact Us

To discuss referrals or training opportunities:

Call: (323) 361-8953 
Email the LIFE Staff

Professional Training Experiences

Health professionals interested in gaining direct experience in childhood cancer survivorship are welcome to participate in a variety of training experiences in the LIFE Program.

Clinical rotations of varied duration are available for residents and fellows in:

  • Pediatrics
  • Internal medicine
  • Medicine-pediatrics
  • Family medicine 

In addition, rotations are available for medical students; nurses; physician assistants; social workers; psychologists; and other allied professionals. 

Shorter “ambassadorships” are also available for health care administrators, planners and other hospital leadership interested in learning more about the LIFE Program or child cancer survivorship in general.

Providing Healthcare to Childhood Cancer Survivors

A great many resources are available to assist you with caring for childhood cancer survivors in your practice.

The following may be particularly useful:

  1. Children's Oncology Group Long-term Follow-up Guidelines for Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancers (version 3.0).
    These clinical guidelines, based on evidence and expert consensus, are updated regularly and can assist the practitioner in understanding health-related risks of cancer treatment and recommended monitoring and preventive practices for individual patients.
  2. National Cancer Institute—Office of Cancer Survivorship
  3. Recent publications
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (Section on Hematology/Oncology), Children’s Oncology Group. Long-Term Follow Up Care for Childhood Cancer Survivors. Pediatrics 2009; 123:906-91
  • Kopp L, Gupta P, Pelayo-Katsanis L, Wittman B, Katsanis E. Late effects in adult survivors of pediatric cancer: a guide for the primary care physician. The American Journal Of Medicine.  2012;125(7):636-641
  • Kurt B, Armstrong G, Hudson M, et al. Primary care of the childhood cancer survivor.  Journal of Pediatrics. 2008. 152; 458-66.
  • Freyer DR. Preparing the childhood cancer survivor for transition of medical care: role of the pediatrician. Current Prob Pediatr Adolesc Health Care 2005; 35:209-21.
  • Seehusen DA, Barid D, Bode D. Primary care of adult survivoirs of childhood cancer. American Family Physician. 2010; 81: 1250-5.

We are a comprehensive team of specialists with years of experience and a special focus on survivorship.

The LIFE program staff includes:

  • Pediatric oncologist
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Social worker
  • Psychologist 
  • Health educator
  • Patient assistance liaison
  • Nurse researchers

Other medical specialists from within our hospital, and from the community, are consulted as needed.

Meet the Team

David Freyer - Director
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

David Freyer, DO, MS, joined Children's Hospital Los Angeles in January 2008. As Director of the LIFE Program, he oversees all aspects of its services, which include clinical assessments of more than 350 patients annually, research regarding their long-term outcomes, and training of fellows, residents and other health care professionals in the care of childhood cancer survivors.

Dr. Freyer's clinical and research activities have focused principally on cancer survivorship and cancer control, including the recognition, management and prevention of short- and long-term morbidity of treatment, as well as health care transition for young adult survivors of childhood cancer, adolescent and young adult (AYA) oncology, palliative care, and decision-making at the end of life. Dr. Freyer is a member of the Children's Oncology Group, where he serves as chair of the AYA Committee, on the Steering Committees for the Survivorship & Outcomes and Cancer Control Committees, and on several protocol and administrative committees.

He graduated magna cum laude from DePauw University, obtained his medical degree from the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, and completed post-graduate medical training at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and Hospitals, Rush University Medical Center and the University of Michigan Medical Center. In 2007, he obtained a MS degree in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

David Tishler, MD – Associate Physician
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
David Tishler is an Attending Physician in the Solid Tumor Program in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation. He is the Chair of the Division Performance Improvement Committee. Dr. Tishler has care and advocated for cancer survivors throughout his medical career. Currently he provides clinical physician support to the LIFE program, in particular for patients with solid tumors. Dr. Tishler's administrative and research activities are focused on Performance improvement and Quality Outcomes. He provides instruction and supervision to clinical fellows in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation as well as medical students at the Keck School of Medicine.

Dr. Tishler graduated with honors from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles and received the Physician & Surgeon degree from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He completed post-graduate pediatric training at the University of California, Irvine affiliated hospitals and a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology Oncology at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He is board certified in Pediatric Hematology Oncology. 

Kasey Rangan – Nurse Practitioner
Kasey Rangan RN, MSN, CPNP, has worked with the survivors of neural tumors as a nurse practitioner since 2003. Mrs. Rangan graduated from University of California at Los Angeles with a masters of science in nursing with emphasis in pediatrics in 2003. She has been a Hematology/Oncology nurse in both the inpatient and outpatient wards at our hospital since 1996, and is an active member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and National Association of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Nurses.

Yael (Ellie) Rosenthal – Nurse Practitioner
Yael Rosenthal, RN, MSN, CPNP, is the nurse practitioner who cares for patients with history of leukemia, lymphoma, bone and soft tissue tumors. She earned her BSN and MSN from the University of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Rosenthal has worked at our hospital since 2001 and she joined the LIFE team in 2005.

Barbara Habell, MSN, CPNP – Nurse Practitioner
Barbara Habell is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner. She graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor's degree in Nursing and began her career as a nurse at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. There, she worked with a diverse pediatric population with a multitude of severe disease processes. She earned her Masters of Science degree in Nursing with an emphasis in pediatrics in 2008 and has been working as a pediatric nurse practitioner since 2009.

Lisl Schweers – Clinical Social Worker
Lisl Schweers, LCSW, is the clinical social worker for the LIFE program. Ms. Schweers conducts psychosocial assessments and provides supportive interventions and resource referrals to survivors and their families. She earned her Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas in Arlington.  Ms. Schweers came to our hospital in 1999 and joined the LIFE team in April 2008.

Laura Bava, PsyD – Clinical Psychologist
Laura Bava, PsyD joined the LIFE Program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles in October 2011. As a pediatric psychologist, she leads the Achieving Best Cognitive Outcomes after Childhood Cancer (ABCs) service, a clinical-research initiative focusing on assessment and monitoring of cognitive long-term effects of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) treatment, and additional psychosocial determinants that impact academic performance in pediatric survivors. Dr. Bava earned her doctorate in Clinical-Community Psychology from University of La Verne as well as a graduate degree in psychology from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina and is a licensed psychologist in California. She completed both American Psychological Association (APA) accredited pediatric psychology internship and 2-year fellowship at CHLA. She is an APA Minority Fellow, a Hispanic Scholarship Foundation scholar and a CAPIC/MHSA grant recipient for her work with underserved populations.
 
Diana Palma, BS, CCRP – Clinical Research Coordinator
Diana has extensive research experience and has worked at Children's Hospital Los Angeles since October 2013. She is a Clinical Research Coordinator with a focus on supportive care and cancer survivorship studies.

Kathy Ruccione – Investigator and Program Founder
Kathleen Ruccione, MPH, RN, FAAN, first came to our hospital as a student nurse and received her nursing diploma from the Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing. She is a national leader in pediatric oncology nursing and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She completed her graduate training in public health from California State University, Northridge, with a focus on wellness. She founded the LIFE Program and has co-edited/co-authored two landmark books on childhood cancer survivorship. Ms. Ruccione pioneered programs for education to empower patients and families coping with cancer, culminating in the development of our HOPE Resource Center and the incorporation of health educators as members of the multidisciplinary health care team. She is active in program development, research, publishing, teaching, and mentoring graduate and postgraduate students in nursing, health education, and health communication. Her current research is focused on family-centered care, health literacy, health communication, and cancer survivorship. She is a doctoral student in health behavior research at the University of Southern California.

Nancy Ascencio – Patient Assistant Liaison
Nancy Ascencio came to CHLA in December 2006. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings. Her current role as Patient Assistant Liaison in the LIFE Program began in September 2014. She is responsible for securing insurance pre-authorizations, scheduling patient appointments and coordination ancillary appointments. She also provides financial counseling services to our patients and families 

About Consultations and Referrals

Patients of any age (including adults) who are survivors of childhood cancer may be referred to the LIFE Program for a comprehensive consultation. Services include:

  • A review of prior cancer treatment
  • Current health inventory
  • Physical examination
  • Psychosocial assessment
  • Diagnostic testing (if indicated)
  • Recommendations for long-term medical monitoring
  • In-depth discussion with the patient/family

Depending on the preference of the patient and referring physician, this can be a one-time evaluation or include continued annual follow-up. In either case, you will receive a detailed clinical report from our evaluation of your patient.

Professional Training Experiences

Health professionals interested in gaining direct experience in childhood cancer survivorship are welcome to participate in a variety of training experiences in the LIFE Program.

Clinical rotations of varied duration are available for residents and fellows in:

  • Pediatrics
  • Internal medicine
  • Medicine-pediatrics
  • Family medicine 

In addition, rotations are available for medical students, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, psychologists and other allied professionals. 

Shorter “ambassadorships” are also available for health care administrators, planners and other hospital leadership interested in learning more about the LIFE Program or child cancer survivorship in general.

Health Care for Childhood Cancer Survivors

A great many resources are available to assist you with caring for childhood cancer survivors in your practice. The following may be particularly useful:

Publications

  • American Academy of Pediatrics (Section on Hematology/Oncology), Children’s Oncology Group. Long-Term Follow Up Care for Childhood Cancer Survivors. Pediatrics 2009; 123:906-915
  • Seehusen DA, Barid D, Bode D. Primary care of adult survivoirs of childhood cancer. American Family Physician. 2010; 81: 1250-5.
  • Freyer DR. Preparing the childhood cancer survivor for transition of medical care: role of the pediatrician. Current Prob Pediatr Adolesc Health Care 2005; 35:209-217
  • Kurt B, Armstrong G, Hudson M, et al. Primary care of the childhood cancer survivor. Journal of Pediatrics. 2008. 152; 458-66. 
  • Kopp L, Gupta P, Pelayo-Katsanis L, Wittman B, Katsanis E. Late effects in adult survivors of pediatric cancer: a guide for the primary care physician. The American Journal Of Medicine. 2012;125(7):636-641.

As specialists in follow-up care, we study both the medical and psychosocial late effects of childhood cancer. Factors such as cancer type, treatment and age may influence an individual's risk for late effects. At the LIFE clinic, these variables and others are studied to learn what happens to patients after cancer treatment. Please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov for more information.

The information we learn from these studies will help guide future cancer therapies and development of new interventions for the needs of survivors. Following is a sample of cancer survivorship studies being conducted by our team, most of which refunded by research grants.

A Research Database for Survivors of Childhood Cancers

This database contains information about cancer history and current health conditions of patients seen in the LIFE Clinic. It has been used to several research studies describing health problems of cancer survivors. All survivors are offered the opportunity to participate in this study.

Transfusional Iron, Anthracyclines and Cardiac Outcomes in Childhood Cancer Survivors

Many patients who undergo cancer treatment receive red blood cell transfusions, which can lead to the build-up of iron in organs including the liver, pancreas, heart and others. This study of LIFE patients is measuring iron in the heart muscle and how it affects heart function when combined with certain types of chemotherapy. 

    Improving School Performance Among Survivors of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

    The purpose of this study is to optimize school function of survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, who are at risk for learning problems because of their chemotherapy treatments, but also may lack optimal home/family support, skills necessary for navigating the school system, cultural and language barriers, or socioeconomic resources. 

    Screening for Cardiovascular Risk Factors Among Young Survivors of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

    This study is evaluating the process of screening and addressing health issues that could increase risk for heart problems in this group of survivors.

    Reducing Racial/Ethnic Inequities in Childhood Cancer Survivorship

    This study, led by Dr. Joel Milam in the Department of Preventive Medicine at USC, involves LIFE patients and is evaluating the effects of race, ethnicity and other factors upon the receipt of cancer-related care among long-term childhood cancer survivors in LA County.

    Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS)

    A collaborative, multi-institutional study coordinated by another hospital that recruits childhood cancer survivors from 27 institutions across North America, including Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, to learn about cancer late effects. In addition, healthy siblings of some cancer survivors are also recruited as a comparison group.

    Some childhood cancer survivors experience difficulties with learning and other school-related problems. Our goal for all survivors is to have them achieve their very best in school. To help families reach this goal, we have developed a special program called the Achieving Best Cognitive Outcomes in Childhood Cancer Survivors (ABCs Service).

    For many survivors, these difficulties are mostly due to the effects of their cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy given in lumbar punctures (spinal taps) and radiation treatments in the brain region. In other cases, learning and school problems result from, or are aggravated by, other factors.

    Children at risk for these problems and their families can be evaluated by the LIFE Program social worker and psychologists, and to receive special instruction and support to help them be successful in school. If it’s a good fit for your child, the ABCs Service will be discussed with you during your LIFE Clinic visit.

    The ABCs Service of the LIFE Program has been made possible through a generous donation from a Southern California foundation that wishes to remain anonymous.

     

    1. Click the Donate Now link.
    2. In the section titled "About Your Donation," be sure to type "LIFE Program" in the "Donation To Support - Other" text box.

    We are grateful to our individual and corporate sponsors who make our work possible. Thank you.

    HOPE Program
    Supportive services for cancer survivors, with programs based here at our hospital.

    SearchHope Portal
    A guided search portal, developed by staff at our hospital, that provides cancer patients and survivors with access to online resources vetted just for their needs. 

    Late Effects and Health Issues

    American Childhood Cancer Organization
    This site offers education, support, service and advocacy for childhood cancer survivors, their families and professionals who care for them.

    Association of Online Cancer Resources
    ACOR is a unique collection of online cancer communities designed to provide timely and accurate information in a supportive environment. It is a free lifeline for everyone affected by cancer and related disorders.

    Beyond the Cure
    The comprehensive survivorship website sponsored by The National Children’s Cancer Society contains information on all aspects of survivorship. The program also offers education through teleconferences and national survivorship conferences.
    800-5–FAMILY

    Cancer.gov
    Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer (PDQ®) -- information for survivors and their parents.

    The Children's Oncology Group
    Long-Term Follow-Up Guidelines for Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancers

    Cure Search – National Childhood Cancer Foundation 
    Provides information on various childhood cancers and treatments, educational issues and legislation.

    Fertile Hope
    Fertile Hope is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing reproductive information, support and hope to cancer patients whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility.

    Office of Cancer Survivorship
    The mission of the Office of Cancer Survivorship (OCS) is to enhance the quality and length of survival of all persons diagnosed with cancer and to minimize or stabilize adverse effects experienced during cancer survivorship. OCS conducts and supports research that both examines and addresses the long- and short-term physical, psychological, social, and economic effects of cancer and its treatment among pediatric and adult survivors of cancer and their families.

    Advocacy

    Advance Directives
    California law provides individuals the ability to ensure that their health care wishes are known and considered if they become unable to make these decisions themselves.

    Alliance for Childhood Cancer
    The Alliance for Childhood Cancer is comprised of more than twenty national patient advocacy groups and professional medical and scientific organizations. The Alliance works to increase awareness of childhood cancer, advance research and policies to prevent cancer and improve diagnosis, treatment, supportive care and survivorship of children and adolescents with cancer.

    The Cancer Legal Center at Loyola Law School
    Provides free and confidential information and resources on cancer-related legal issues to people with cancer, their families, friends, employers, health care professionals and others coping with cancer.
    213-736-1455 or toll-free 866-THE-CLRC, 866-843-2572

    The Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy
    Works as a national catalyst to stimulate drug discovery and development for childhood cancers, to expand resources for research and treatment, and to address the needs and concerns of survivors.
    301-562-2765

    National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
    A clearinghouse for information on services and materials for survivors. The organization advocates for the rights and interests of cancer survivors. Also provides a resource guide for employment rights, as well as support when dealing with the effects of cancer.
    301-650-9127

    Support and Activities for Survivors

    American Brain Tumor Association
    The only national organization providing comprehensive resources and serving the complex supportive care needs of brain tumor patients and caregivers from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.
    800-ACS-234

    American Cancer Society
    A community of online survivors and their families with chat rooms and a message board. The community consists of adult and childhood cancer survivors.
    800-ACS-234

    Camp Mak-A-Dream
    Camp Mak-A-Dream provides a medically supervised, cost-free Montana experience, in an intimate community setting, for children, young adults and families affected by cancer.

    Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times
    Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times creates a positive long-lasting impact on children with cancer and their families by providing fun-filled, medically supervised, cost-free, year-round camp programs.
    310-268-8488 or 800-625-7295

    Cancercare
    A national nonprofit organization that provides free professional support services to anyone affected by cancer: people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones and the bereaved. Cancercare programs -- including counseling, education, financial assistance and practical help -- are provided by trained oncology social workers and are completely free of charge.
    800-813-HOPE

    The Cancer Support Community
    Founded in 1982, The Wellness Community is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free support, education and hope to people with cancer and their loved ones. Free local support groups for survivors in various parts of Los Angeles County.

    Coach Art
    Provides free, personal lessons in the arts and athletics for patients with life altering conditions (including cancer survivors) and their siblings.
    213-736-2850

    First Descents
    First Descents provides whitewater kayaking and other outdoor adventure experiences to promote emotional, psychological and physical healing for young adults with cancer.

    Group Loop
    Group Loop is a safe place for teens with cancer and their parents to find support, education and hope while dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

    Imerman Angels
    Imerman Angels is a not-for-profit organization providing one-on-one cancer support: connecting cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers. Imerman Angels partners a person fighting cancer with someone who has beaten the same type of cancer. 

    Stupid Cancer (Also known as: I'm Too Young for This Foundation)
    A global support community for young adults affected by cancer who get busy living and rock on. Our mission is to end isolation and improve quality of life by providing "one-stop" access to hard to find resources, peer support and social networks.

    The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
    The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. The organization’s site provides practical information for patients and families including a publication on educational transitions. 
    1-888-802-8680 for the Greater Los Angeles Chapter

    Planet Cancer
    Events and research opportunities for cancer survivors.
    512-452-9010

    The SAMFund
    The SAMFund helps young adult survivors reclaim their independence and keep moving forward after a cancer diagnosis. We offer financial assistance in the form of grants and scholarships, host groups for the young adult survivor community, and hold fundraising events throughout the year.

    Starbright World
    Starbright World is an online support network for teens with chronic and life threatening illnesses, and their siblings.

    Teen Impact at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
    Teen Impact is a program for teens and young adults (and their families) that have or once had cancer or a blood disease. Activities include twice monthly support groups and an annual Teen Retreat. Call the Teen Impact office for more information at 323-361-4660.

    Teens Living with Cancer
    Teens Living with Cancer is an online resource dedicated to helping teens deal with the late effects of cancer. The resource provides information on exercise and nutrition. There is also an online support group. The website is available in English and Spanish. 

    The Ulman Fund for Young Adults
    A connection site for survivors (diagnosed as children and young adults), parents and young adults with cancer, dealing with a variety of topics.
    888-393-FUND (3863)

    Vital Options International
    Support for Young Adults with Cancer: Vital Options was the first organization dedicated to supporting young adults with cancer. The Group Room is a weekly radio talk show that’s all about cancer.
    1-800-477-7666

    We Can Pediatric Brain Tumor Network
    Offers information and emotional support to families whose children have brain tumors through camps, workshops, mentoring and more. We Can is based in L.A. and serves all of California.

    Scholarship Information for Survivors

    Bogart HOPE Scholarship
    To be eligible, you must have been diagnosed with cancer before the age of 21 and have received medical treatment or HOPE Program services (including Teen Impact and the LIFE Program). This scholarship is available to patients who are on treatment and to those who have completed their therapy. Call the HOPE program office for more information.
    323-361-4135

    Cancer Survivor’s Fund
    This site’s goal is to reach every young cancer survivor actively seeking a scholarship. 

    National Grace Foundation
    The National GRACE Foundation provides FREE college admissions and financial aid counseling to pediatric cancer patients and survivors.

    The SAMFund
    A unique nonprofit organization created to assist young-adult survivors of cancer with successful transition to their post-treatment life. Provides financial support through distribution of grants and scholarships.

    Scholarships Around the U.S
    Select "By Student Type" from the links on the left side of the home page, then click on "Health Conditions" (under "Student Specific") for scholarships for cancer survivors.

    Other Websites With Scholarship Information:

    Employment and Insurance

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    Information on ADA and current issues regarding disability rights.

    Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
    CMS administers Medicare and works with state governments to administer Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Programs. The CMS website provides details about these programs, laws of interest, eligibility requirements and resources.  

    Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)
    Provides vocational training and job placement services for Californians with disabilities.
    Greater Los Angeles: 213-736-3904

    Employment Development Department
    Job seeker services include job referral, job search workshops, placement services and special assistance to individuals who are experiencing difficulty in finding work.

    Patient Advocate Foundation
    Offers patients free assistance in mediating with insurance companies to assure access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability.
    800-532-5274

    HealthCare.gov
    To learn more about access to health care and health insurance, healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act. A federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

    Patient Advocate Foundation
    Offers patients free assistance in mediating with insurance companies to assure access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability.
    800-532-5274

    United States Department of Education/Office of Civil Rights
    The OCR serves student populations facing discrimination and enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

    Public Benefit, Specialized Services and Income Support Programs

    ACCESS Paratransit
    ACCESS Services provides transportation to Los Angeles County residents and is committed to improving the mobility on public transportation of persons with disabilities.

    California Children’s Services
    Provides specialized medical care and transition services for children (0-21) with an eligible condition who meet certain financial criteria.
    800-288-4584

    Department of Public Social Services (DPSS)
    Provides assistance with food, housing, and health care to low income individuals (all ages).
    888-747-1222 or 877-597-4777

    Health Consumer Center of Los Angeles
    Can provide referrals to free or affordable health care and assists with grievance and appeals procedures.
    800-896-3203. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays: 9–11:45 a.m.

    In Home Supportive Services
    Allows low-income people who have a disability to remain safely in their homes, by assisting with personal care and related services.
    888-944-4477

    Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
    Provides evaluations and services for those with mental health problems (all ages).
    800-854-7771

    Medi-Cal
    Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid health care program. This program pays for a variety of medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources. Medi-Cal is supported by federal and state taxes.

    Regional Center
    Regional Centers serve as a local resource to help find and access the services and supports available to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
    916-654-1690

    Supplemental Security Income
    Provides cash assistance and Medi-Cal for low income disabled individuals (all ages).
    800-772-1213

    If you are currently experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms, you should have an evaluation by a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

    Symptoms

    These symptoms may indicate a serious late effect.
    T = Trouble seeing or hearing
    R = Recurring chest pain
    O = Out of breath
    U = Uncomfortable hips, knees or other joints
    B = Broken bones
    L = Low sex drive, hot flashes, menstrual changes or erectile dysfunction
    E = Energy down (severe fatigue), sadness, anxiety or memory problems

    Signs of Cancer

    These signs may be a symptom of cancer.
    C = Change in bowel or bladder habits
    A = A sore that does not heal
    U = Unusual discharge or bleeding
    T = Thickness of lumps in breast, testicles, etc.
    I = Indigestion or trouble swallowing
    O = Obvious change in warts or moles
    N = Nagging cough or hoarseness

    Source for CAUTION: American Cancer Society/WebMD

    Please contact your healthcare provider or the LIFE team if you are concerned about any of these symptoms.