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People who survive cancer in childhood have almost twice as many chronic health conditions by age 50, on average, as the general population, according to results from the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study.
“Hopefully, all survivors should be aware that they need to let their doctors know their past medical history and share their experience as a childhood cancer survivor,” lead author Dr. Nickhill Bhakta from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, told Reuters Health.
Details - Type - Cancer - Kind - Treatments
“Getting as much details as possible such as type of cancer, where they were treated, and ideally, what kind of treatments they received as part of their curative regimen are important,” he said by email. “Armed with this information, our findings emphasize the importance of screening for chronic health conditions in this population.”
Earlier studies have shown an increased risk of chronic health conditions in survivors of childhood cancer, but Bhakta’s team wanted to examine their overall burden in more detail. The researchers looked at 168 chronic health conditions in 48 disease categories among 3,010 survivors over age 18 who were treated for cancer at St. Jude as children.
Age - Childhood - Cancer - Survivors - Percent
By age 50, virtually all childhood cancer survivors (99.9 percent) had experienced at least one chronic health condition, compared with 96 percent of age-matched peers in the community, according to the report in The Lancet.
Childhood cancer survivors also had far more chronic health conditions, an average of 17.1 per person, including 4.7 conditions severe or advanced enough to be called serious. By comparison, individuals in the comparison group averaged 9.2 chronic health conditions, 2.3 of them serious.
Heart - Disease - Heart - Rhythm - Disorders
Heart disease, heart rhythm disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity were common in both groups. But serious lung function problems, spinal disorders and second cancers were more likely in the childhood cancer survivors.
The risk of chronic health conditions in later life...
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