Topics: Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Treatment

This article is part of Generation Why , a HuffPost Healthy Living series putting the spotlight on young adult cancer patients and survivors between the ages of 15 and 39. For more on the series, click here.

In 1997, fresh out of college, Tamika Felder moved from her hometown in South Carolina to Washington, D.C., to chase a job as a television producer. When she landed her first gig, she didn't care that it didn't come with health insurance. She was just happy to be working. If a health crisis came up, she figured she'd go to a free clinic.

Four years later, Felder's career was on track, and she was happily single and dating. When she secured a job with health insurance in 2001, she scheduled a routine gynecologist visit for a long overdue exam and pap smear. The test turned up cancerous cells on her cervix, and she was diagnosed with advanced-stage cervical cancer. "I never really knew anybody my age who had cancer," she says. "I actually thought the doctor was crazy."

When her best friend started chemo, Chaya wanted a way to make her monthly mikvah as special as possible. She ended up finding a new kind of holy cleansing—even though it broke all the traditional rules.

At its best, mikvah gets you so clean, body and soul, that God is right there with you. But first, you have to make sure there is nothing between you and the water. That means being vigilant for everything from belly button lint to a stuffed nose and going head to toe to ensure no crevice or fold is forgotten.

So, Goldberg sets to work on her toes. First, she lets acetone-soaked cotton balls rest on her nails. Now, she’s scraping away at what’s left of the polish with a pair of tweezers, chin on her knees.

Jane Plant, 65, is professor of geochemistry at Imperial College, London, and lives in Richmond with her husband Peter Simpson, also a professor. They have three children and six grandchildren. She says:

Last year I became a grandma for the sixth time. Considering I’d been given two months to live 17 years earlier, when my kids were still children themselves, it felt like a remarkable achievement to be holding yet another grandchild in my arms.

I was first diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 42. I thought I’d beaten it, but five years later it returned with a vengeance. I carried on fighting, but when it recurred for the fifth time I asked my doctor to end my life for me there and then — I didn’t see how I could go on battling a disease that seemed ­hell-bent on finishing me off.

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I had tumors on my thyroid and had it removed when I was seven years old. I would definitely talk to an endocrinologist, if I were you. No matter whether the advice you were given was good or not, the endocrinologist will know what is best for you. Baylor in Dallas is an excellent hospital. They ve done all of my thyroid related surgeries.

Bonnie Rochman writes about pregnancy, fertility, parenting — the ups and downs of being a kid and having one — for TIME.

I think that is great for people who cannot have sex, but for me.I enjoy sex and have alot of it.

Today, because of advances in treatment, more than 80% of children treated for cancer survive at least 5 years.. But the treatments that help these children survive their cancer can also cause health problems later on.

Most treatment side effects appear during or just after treatment and go away a short time later. But some problems might not go away or might not show up until months or years after treatment. These problems are called  late effects. Because more children with cancer now survive into adulthood, their long-term health and these late effects have become a focus of care and research.

Careful follow-up after cancer treatment helps doctors find and treat any late effects as early as possible. The follow-up schedule depends on many things, including the type of cancer the child had, the treatments used, the risk of late effects from those treatments, and other factors such as the patient’s age, amount of chemotherapy or radiation given, and how long it has been since treatment was completed.

Casey mum-of-two Sonja Loder last month completed treatment for her second bout of breast cancer and quietly celebrated by attending Wednesday's third annual Pink Lady luncheon in Canberra for Breast Cancer Network Australia.

Sonja had her first bout of breast cancer four years ago and found out during her second, most recent treatment that she had the BRCA gene mutation linked to a higher risk of the disease.

"For me, it just means heightened awareness, that there is an increased chance of it recurring, a higher risk also of ovarian cancer and that I need to be conscious of the risk to my daughter as she gets older," she said.

Our unthinking characterisation of cancer as a 'battle' hands responsibility for recovery to the patient – and creates the notion that only the ‘strong’ or ‘deserving’ survive

Glancing through Twitter this morning, I noticed a friend of a friend responding to Barack Obama’s tweet in support of Senator John McCain who has been diagnosed with brain cancer: “John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn‘t know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.”

Martial metaphors of cancer are lacking for several other reasons. After major surgery, weeks of radiotherapy, or even a single day on a chemotherapy ward, it is possible to feel that the so-called “battle” is being done to you, not that you are some brave warrior choosing to repel the evil forces of the disease inside your body.

I'm Sarah - wife to my amazing husband, John, and mom to two little girls, Cami and Maisie. I used to work in the finance industry before having my daughters, and now I'm a freelance personal finance writer and blogger. I love being wi.

“1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one," Louis-Dreyfus wrote in her announcement, following up with a positive message about being surrounded by an amazing group of family and friends to help her through her battle. The timing of her statement seems alarmingly apropos, considering just days later Breast Cancer Awareness Month began on Oct. 1.

We're proud to honor the month because awareness can help save lives and fuel the work behind a cure and we're celebrating with the wise words of some badass breast cancer warriors. The words from brave women provide support for the newly diagnosed, and ring true with a lot of people who have gone through the same thing.

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