Excess risks reduce life expectancy by 28 percent or more in brain, bone tumor survivors

-- Eric Metcalf

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 (Last Updated: 04/07/2010)

TUESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Survivors of childhood cancer face considerable mortality as adults, according to research published in the April 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Jennifer M. Yeh, Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed findings from a state-transition model, in which they estimated probabilities of risk for death from the original cancer, and excess mortality from later cancer or heart-related, lung-related or other complications.

The researchers found that, among a group of five-year survivors, aged 15 years, who were diagnosed at 10 years of age, the average lifetime probability for late-recurrence mortality was 0.10; for subsequent treatment-related cancer and death from cardiac, pulmonary and external causes was 0.15; and for death from other excess risks was 0.05. Life expectancy for the 15-year-old cohort was 50.6 years, representing a loss of 10.4 years compared to the general population. Reduction in life expectancy ranged from more than 17.8 years (at least 28 percent) for survivors of brain and bone tumors to four years (6 percent) for survivors of kidney tumors.

"Although childhood cancer survivors are few, internal medicine physicians are the best prepared to assume responsibility for these patients as they age with the complexity of past treatments and their long-term and late effects. Caring for the whole patient is essential, including the psychosocial needs that arise with the burden of living with a chronic disease," write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

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Specialties Oncology
OBGYN & Women's Health
Family Practice
Internal Medicine

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