'Substantial portion' of childhood cancer survivors not concerned about future health

IMAGE: Researchers, led by Todd Gibson, Ph.D., found that despite the fact that survivors have such a greatly increased risk of long-term health problems, their perception of risk was not always… view more 

Credit: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital / Seth Dixon

A research team led by a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital epidemiologist has conducted the largest analysis to date of how adult survivors of childhood cancer view their health risk. The scientists found that a surprisingly high number of survivors showed a lack of concern for their future well-being. The analysis of questionnaire data from 15,620 survivors found that 31 percent said they were not concerned about their future health and 40 percent were unconcerned about developing new cancers.

The finding is significant because advances in childhood cancer treatment have produced a growing number of long-term survivors, now numbering more than 420,000 in the U.S. alone. What’s more, these survivors are at increased risk of new cancers; other medical, cognitive and psychological problems; and death.

The researchers, led by Todd Gibson, Ph.D., of the St. Jude Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, published their findings in the scientific journal Cancer. The researchers drew on data from questionnaires


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