Eenmaal kanker, altijd patiënt

Aart Jan van der Lelij

One episode of cancer, always a patient

Two articles in this issue of the Dutch Journal of Medicine address the issue of the long-term consequences of cancer treatment. They show the serious long-term side effects of oncological interventions on the quality of life and the medical future of surviving cancer patients, and emphasize the need for a nationwide early detection program that effectively picks up those patients suffering from the complications of oncological treatment. New systematic follow-up programs hold the promise of successfully detecting those patients with physical problems due to their oncological history. They also clearly show that long-term sequelae of successful oncological treatment will become a more frequently-encountered medical problem in a rapidly increasing number of “ex” patients. Not only physicians, but also insurance companies and medical authorities should address the change in the medical requirements of this new type of patient with very specific medical problems.

Conflict of interest: none declared. Financial support: none declared.