Improved Survival but Lingering Health Problems Reported With Childhood Cancers

The retrospective study evaluated data collected between 1975 and 2011 from 2 large cancer studies that included 26 cancer centers in North America.

More Americans are surviving childhood cancers than ever before, but many suffer lingering health problems as adults, a new study finds.

About 70% of adults who survived cancer in childhood have a mild or moderate chronic condition. And nearly one-third have a severe, disabling, or life-threatening condition, the researchers found.

"The fact that many of the indicators of the chronic conditions we examined increased with age was not altogether surprising. However, when you look at the age of these survivors, the magnitude of these conditions at relatively young ages is quite striking," said lead researcher Siobhan Phillips, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Typically, these health conditions wouldn't be expected to be a problem until people are much older, Phillips said. "Therefore, it is important to understand how we can help prevent and lower the risk of chronic conditions and compromised functioning in this population," she added.

Link to the complete report on MedlinePlus: