Kids that survive cancer — do they have healthy futures?

Children that have childhood bouts with cancer — but beat the condition and end of progressing normally into adulthood, may have less healthier lives overall, with more than a third of childhood cancer survivors developing disabling or even life-threatening diseases and conditions later in life.

In the largest study of patient outcomes ever published, researchers followed more than 10,000 pediatric cancer survivors that were diagnosed and treated during a nearly 20-year period through the 1970s and 1980s.

In what is already being called the “dark side of cancer victory”, it’s estimated that 80% of children treated for cancer in the U.S. survive due to recent cancer treatments — including chemotherapy.
Some of the most relevant results from the study, which was published in the most recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, were as follows:

[- Survivors of childhood cancers were eight times as likely to develop a severe or life-threatening health problem as adult siblings with no cancer history who were close to the same age

– Survivors treated for bone, brain, and nervous system cancers and Hodgkin’s disease. Hodgkin’s disease had the highest risk of developing a chronic or life-threatening health condition

– Female survivors were 50% more likely than male survivors to develop serious health problems within three decades of treatment. They were also more likely to develop more than one major health problem] source

Author by Brian White