PHILADELPHIA Survivors of childhood cancers were hospitalized more often and for longer durations because of blood disorders and other problems, many years after cancer treatment was completed, compared with the general population, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
"Our findings demonstrate that childhood cancer survivors face ongoing problems that can lead to hospitalization, even for those who are decades past their original cancer diagnosis. This can negatively impact their quality of life," said Anne C. Kirchhoff, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Huntsman Cancer Institute of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
"Regular cancer-focused health care is important for identifying health problems for survivors throughout their lives," Kirchhoff added. "Patients and families who have experienced childhood cancer should obtain a cancer treatment summary and recommendations for follow-up care from their oncologist, and coordinate their follow-up care with their oncology and primary care doctors to ensure their health care needs are being managed."
In this study, survivors were 52 percent more likely to be hospitalized, and their number of admissions was 67 percent higher, compared with age and sex-matched individuals who did not have cancer. Survivors were also 35 percent more likely to have stayed longer every time they were hospitalized, compared with controls.
"The Affordable Care Act has several provisions that will improve insurance for cancer survivors, including expanding coverage to dependents up to age 26, prohibiting insurance denials based on health status, and eliminating lifetime limits on coverage," noted Kirchhoff. "Better insurance coverage should hopefully help survivors identify and manage health problems at earlier, less costly stages."
Kirchhoff and colleagues ident
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American Association for Cancer Research