Childhood cancer survivors are living longer, thanks to advances in diagnosis and treatment over the past four decades, creating an urgent need for better healthcare and psychosocial services, new research finds.
The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, found children with cancer who live more than five years has increased from less than 50 percent to nearly 80 percent since the 1970s.
But that increase in survival has boosted the number of adolescent and young adult survivors who experience side effects of the disease or treatment that may occur later in life. Those effects can decrease health-related quality of life – due to the impact of disease or treatment on a person's life, and how well they adjust to those factors.
The research team that compiled the study also concluded traditional efforts healthcare specialists make to help adult cancer survivors with such quality-of-life factors often aren’t appropriate for younger people who have had or are living with cancer.
The team – including experts from the University of Florida- Gainesville, University of South Florida-Tampa, University of Michigan and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital – called for new initiatives to adddress and serve the unique needs of the growing number of people who survive childhood cancer.