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Late effects of cancer

Image: Two Peter Mac patients in the ONTrac at Peter Mac waiting area

About late effects

In medicine, a late effect is a condition that appears after the acute phase of an earlier condition has run its course. A late effect can be caused directly by the earlier condition, or indirectly by the treatment for the earlier condition. Some late effects can occur decades later.

It is estimated that one in 1,000 20-year-olds in Australia are survivors of childhood cancer. These patients frequently face medical and social difficulties into their adult life as a result of late effects of their cancer treatments.

Treatment information

Information related to past cancer treatment, along with information about any current health issues and concerns, will be used to provide ongoing support and follow-up care. 

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About Peter Mac’s (Paediatric and) Late Effects Service

Peter Mac’s Late Effects Service helps people who have undergone curative treatment for cancer, to remain as healthy as possible throughout their lives. This includes survivors of childhood cancers who require long-term surveillance in order to improve their mental, physical and general well-being.

Peter Mac’s Late Effects Service was the first adult clinic of its kind established in Australia. It provides ongoing review by a team of specialists from multiple disciplines and promotes healthy living through patient education and management of potential consequences of cancer treatment.

Peter Mac’s Late Effects Service works in conjunction with the patient’s GPs to provide ongoing screening and surveillance of the possible long-term effects of cancer and its treatment. Download a copy of the Late Effects of Cancer Treatment: Screening and Surveillance Guidelines for GPs

As a tertiary training institution, education is a primary focus for Peter Mac. During your time at Peter Mac, you will meet health professionals training at varies stages of education. Your care will always be delivered under the direct supervision of senior specialist staff.

Clinic times

Late Effects clinics run at East Melbourne each Thursday afternoon and twice a year in Bendigo and Hobart.

Clinical trials

Peter Mac supports and recommends all patients consider participation in appropriate, ethically approved clinical trials.

Referral information

The Late Effects Service is open to any person over the age of 18 whose course of received chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or surgery as a curative treatment for cancer was completed a minimum of five years previous.

Your general practitioner or specialist will organise referrals to Peter Mac’s Late Effects Service or you can contact the service directly for more information or advice.

Visit the referrals page for further information or download a copy of the Late Effects Service referral guidelines.

Contact information

For all Late Effects Service enquiries, contact:

Natalie Goroncy
Nurse Coordinator: Late Effects Service
Phone: 03 9656 1060

The Chair of the (Paediatrics and) Late Effects Service at Peter Mac is Dr Greg Wheeler.

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