Physical impairment and social life goals among adult long-term survivors of childhood cancer: a population-based study from the childhood cancer registry of Piedmont, Italy.
ABSTRACT The study describes the health status and the attainment of life goals in the adult survivors of childhood cancer recorded at the Childhood Cancer Registry of Piedmont.
A postal questionnaire was sent to the general practitioner of the 690 cases born before 1976 and alive in 1991 after at least 5 years from diagnosis. The answer was received for 485 (72.9%) included in the analyses. Items in the questionnaire were: sequelae related to cancer and its treatment, health-related quality of life (according to Bloom's criteria), educational level attained, and employment status.
Vital and marital status were obtained for all 690 cases at the offices of the town of residence. No medical condition was reported for 309 cases (63.7%). The overall proportion with a high school or university education was compared to corresponding figures for Piedmont in 1991, adjusted by age, and was as high as in the general population. Similar results are observed for occupation. Patients of both genders were married less than expected. Patients with leukemia (112 cases), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (34) or Hodgkin's lymphoma (52) were reported to have the highest quality of life. In contrast, patients with tumors of the central nervous system (151) had the highest frequency of sequelae and the lowest score for health-related quality of life. They-also presented the lowest educational achievement, the lowest proportion of employment and, among males, the lowest frequency of marriage.
Our study shows a good social adjustment of adult survivors from childhood cancer, with the exception of central nervous system tumors. From the methodologic point of view, the present study shows the feasibility of surveillance surveys on health-related quality of life with the contribution of general practitioners.
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