Over 100 people recently at Dublin Castle for the ‘survivorship after Childhood Cancer’ public meeting. The event jointly organised by CanCare4living and the Boyne Research Institute with support from the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), brought together survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer, their families and friends as well as health care professionals, researchers and advocacy groups.

A highlight among attendees was keynote address by Dr. Heleen van der Pal, from the Princess Maxima Centre for Childhood Cancer in Utrecht, Netherlands. Dr van der Pal runs the survivorship services and she shared information and news of best practice in the care of childhood cancer survivors across europe.

Guest speaker Dr Peter Barrett, NCCP Specialist Registrar in Public Health medicine, said: “there are many reasons to be optimistic; survival rates from childhood cancer are improving and the number of adult survivors is increasing all the time in Ireland. However, the treatments that provide the cure for cancer can also damage healthy organs. These late effects of treatment can occur many years after the treatment is complete, and even well into adulthood. The aim of this unique event was to explore the needs of survivors of childhood cancer, to hear from international experts and discuss opportunities to improve services for the future.”

Louise Mullen, NCCP National Programme Manager for Cancer survivorship, said: “as part of the national Cancer strategy 2017-2026, we are focusing on improving the ongoing care of adult survivors of childhood cancer. the NCCP are working on a range of projects, such as this one, to improve the experience and care for cancer survivors.”

Pictured (l-R) at the ‘survivorship after childhood cancer’ event are Sarah Quigley, Patient advocate; Aoife Moggan, Patient advocate; Dr Larry Bacon, St James’ Hospital; Dr Peter Barrett, NCCP; Louise Mullen, NCCP; Dr Heleen van der Pal, Princess Maxima Center, Netherlands; Dr Julianne Byrne, Boyne Research Institute; and Patricia McColgan, CanCare4living.