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Cancer Health Center

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Health Woes Common in Childhood Cancer Survivors

Kids Who Beat Cancer Often Face Medical Challenges in Adulthood, Study Says


The researchers say that adult survivors of childhood cancer had poorer health outcomes at all time intervals checked. They reported the greatest limitations in the first four years after diagnosis, and 30 or more years later.

Among those reporting problems three decades or more after diagnosis:

  • 43.8% said they were limited in the amount or type of work they could do as a result of cancer-related health problems.
  • 39.8% reported themselves as being in fair or poor health.
  • This group of long-term survivors reported missing an average of 69.3 days of work in the past year because of health problems.

It is possible that the survivors making reports after 30 years were more prone to health problems because of the types of cancer treatment that were available in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the study.

Problems in activities of daily living cited by survivors included trouble eating, bathing, dressing, getting in or out of bed or other furniture, using the toilet, and getting around inside their homes.

“Our study suggests that adult survivors of childhood cancer deserve special medical attention and may benefit from interventions to improve their health and productivity,” Dowling says in a news release.

The study is published in Cancer, a publication of the American Cancer Society.

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