Adults who have undergone successful cancer treatment years or decades previously become fatigued more quickly than their peers who don’t have cancer histories, according to a new study in the journal Cancer from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The scientists examined data from a long-running study of normal aging, which included periodic treadmill tests of fatigability as well as 400-meter walks to test endurance. They found that, on average, participants with a history of cancer treatment reported more fatigue in the treadmill tests and were slower to complete the endurance walks, compared to participants without a cancer history.
“The main goal of cancer treatment has been survival, but studies like this suggest that we need also to examine the longer-term effects on health and quality of life,” says study senior author Jennifer A. Schrack, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology.
Looming concerns over the long-term adverse effects of cancer treatments are largely the result of the short-term successes of those treatments, which have left a growing population of cancer survivors: 16 million in the U.S. as of 2016. But studies suggest that cancer treatments’ lingering impacts are clinically real and often
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