Many survivors of childhood cancer are not getting the optimal follow-up care recommended for detecting the long-term consequences of cancer treatment. The majority of children and teenagers with cancer can be cured, they still face a risk of long-term, or "late," effects from the drugs and radiation used to fight the cancer.

These effects include anything from problems with memory, attention or intellectual ability to damage to the heart, lungs or other organs. Treatments for certain cancers may harm hearing or vision, while some can affect future fertility.

Childhood cancer survivors are at the great risk of developing another cancer later in life.
Because of all these potential health threats, experts advise patients to regularly see a specialist trained in the long-term care of childhood cancer survivors.

The large majority of survivors may not be receiving optimal care.
Of more than 2,000 survivors in the new study, the majority said they'd seen a general practitioner in the past year, but only 29 percent had been to a cancer specialist.

Other studies, the researchers note, have found that cancer survivors are often unaware of the details of their treatment and the potential long-term health risks.