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Childhood Cancer Survivors Face Health Problems Throughout Life

More likely to struggle with medical issues as adults, analysis finds

MONDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- A new analysis of childhood cancer survivors finds they are more likely to suffer from medical problems and other health challenges as adults.

Emily Dowling, of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and colleagues studied findings from over 295,000 interviews in the National Health Interview Survey from the last few years. Of those interviews, 410 were with adult survivors of childhood cancer.

The researchers found that childhood cancer survivors were more likely than other adults to say their health is only fair or poor (24 percent compared to 11 percent), more likely to say their health was limited (13 percent compared to 3 percent), more likely to be unable to work because of medical problems (21 percent compared to 6 percent) and more likely to be limited by their health in terms of the work they could do (31 percent compared to 11 percent).

The survey also found that childhood cancer survivors missed an average of 69.3 days of work in the past year due to health problems, according to the report in the May 24 online edition of Cancer.

"Our study suggests that adult survivors of childhood cancer deserve special medical attention and may benefit from interventions to improve their health and productivity," Dowling said in a news release from the American Cancer Society.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on childhood cancer.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: American Cancer Society, news release, May 24, 2010

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