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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ABSTRACT: Adolescence involves graduating from school and preparing one's professional career. The accomplishment of these tasks may be hampered by the experience of cancer. This study investigates the educational and professional achievements of German long-term survivors of adolescent cancer. Adult survivors of cancer during adolescence (n = 820, age at onset between 15 and 18 years; M = 15.8, SD = 0.9 years; age at follow-up: M = 30.4, SD = 6.0 years) were recruited through the German Childhood Cancer Registry. They completed self-reports with standard items on their educational and vocational level and their current occupational situation. Outcomes were compared to an age-matched sample from the general population (German Socio-Economic Panel, n = 820, age: M = 30.4, SD = 6.7). Risk factors for educational and vocational underachievement were identified by subgroup analyses. Compared to peers from the general population, survivors of cancer during adolescence achieved higher educational and vocational levels. A higher proportion of survivors was employed; however, survivors were significantly older when starting their first occupation. Subgroup analyses revealed that neuropsychological late effects were associated with reduced rates of graduation from university and of employment among the survivors. No such effect of neuro-cognitive late effects occurred for high school graduation. Most German survivors of cancer during adolescence participate in school and vocational life without major difficulties. Problems particularly arise for survivors with neuropsychological sequelae. Further research should investigate whether these results can be attributed to the German support system for pediatric cancer patients or to sample effects.Pediatric Blood & Cancer 11/2010; 56(3):432-8. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adult survivors of childhood cancer can have altered social functioning. We sought to identify factors that predict marriage and divorce outcomes in this growing population. This was a retrospective cohort study of 8,928 > or = 5-year adult survivors of childhood malignancy and 2,879 random sibling controls participating in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Marital status, current health, psychological status, and neurocognitive functioning were determined from surveys and validated instruments. Survivors were more likely to be never-married than siblings [relative risk (RR), 1.21; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.15-1.26] and the U.S. population (RR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.21-1.29), after adjusting for age, gender, and race. Patients with central nervous system tumors were at greatest risk of not marrying (RR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.41-1.59). Married survivors divorced at frequencies similar to controls. In multivariable regression analysis, nonmarriage was most associated with cranial radiation (RR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.02-1.31 for > 2,400 centigray). In analysis of neurobehavioral functioning, nonmarriage was associated with worse task efficiency (RR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.20-1.35), but not with emotional distress, or problems with emotional regulation, memory, or organization. Physical conditions predictive of nonmarriage included short stature (RR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.20-1.34) and poor physical function (RR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.00-1.18). Structural equation modeling suggested that cranial radiation influenced marriage status through short stature, cognitive problems, and poor physical function. Childhood cancer survivors married at lower frequencies compared with peers. Patients with central nervous system tumors, cranial radiation, impaired processing efficiency, and short stature were more likely to never marry. Divorce patterns in survivors were similar to peers.Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 10/2009; 18(10):2626-35. · 4.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The need for early, accurate diagnosis of central nervous system (CNS) complications occurring during and after pediatric cancer treatment is growing because of the improvement in overall survival rates related to innovative and aggressive oncologic therapies. An elevated degree of suspicion is needed to recognize the radiologic features of these CNS complications. Radiologists need familiarity with the early and late side effects of cancer therapy in the pediatric CNS (eg, toxic effects, infection, endocrine or sensory dysfunction, neuropsychologic impairment, second malignancies), in order to accelerate the imaging diagnosis and minimize as much as possible the associated morbidity. Acquisition of knowledge about these complications will enable the development of more appropriate therapeutic trials and more effective patient surveillance and will lead to an improved quality of life by decreasing the long-term sequelae in survivors.Radiographics 01/2011; 31(4):1123-39. · 2.79 Impact Factor