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Childhood Cancer Survivors Experience Lower Quality Of Life As Adults

Update Date: Apr 28, 2016 04:20 AM EDT

A research from a world-renowned cancer treatment and research center in Boston has presented that a childhood cancer survivor may feel way older than they actually are. Dr. Lisa Diller led the research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in which they dwelled into copious amounts of childhood cancer survivors' records within an age bracket between 18 to 29-year-old.

Diller and her colleagues found out that childhood cancer survivors who did not present a recurring illness have the same quality life score as the general population whereas survivors who are struggling with a recurring illness managed to have a low life score equivalent to the population with a recurring illness, according to Health Day.

From the 7,105 childhood cancer survivors' entry merely 20 percent displayed no recurring illness with the age 18 to 29 demographic indicating a standard life score of 0.78 which is the same compared to a general population with an age demographic between 40 to 49.

While the cancer survivors without any recurring illnesses had an average score of 0.81 while those with at least two conditions had an average score of 0.77. A score of 0.70 however indicated three or more life-threatening conditions in a cancer survivor. Therefore, a life score of 1 indicated an ideal well-being while a life score of 0 indicated death.

"Our findings indicate survivors' accelerated aging and also help us understand the health-related risks associated with having had cancer as a child," Diller explained the research as it weighed against childhood cancer survivors who have now become adults to the general population.

"What's encouraging is that the lower quality of life scores are associated with the chronic disease after treatment, not with a history of pediatric cancer itself. If we can prevent treatment-related conditions by changes in the therapy we use for cancer, then childhood cancer will become an acute, rather than a chronic, illness," she added as the cancer survivors' health typically deteriorate as they grow old.

Additionally, the team mentioned that it would be beneficial if the annual test in the lungs, mammogram for women, blood and imaging tests along with an electrocardiogram be performed.

According to Journal of the National Cancer Institute, children diagnosed with cancer will have over 83% chance of having a five-year span of survival while 40% of the childhood cancer survivors will be plagued with illnesses that are fatal to health.


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