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Experts highlight gaps in knowledge on caring for survivors of teenage and young adult cancers
Date:6/10/2008

London, UK: Over 95% of patients with testicular cancer are cured nowadays, but this success has produced a new problem for cancer survivors, the medical profession and national governments, a cancer expert will tell Teenage Cancer Trust's Fifth International Conference on Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Medicine, which is meeting in London on Monday and Tuesday (June 9 and 10).

Dr Craig Nichols, director of program development and director of the germ cell tumor and lymphoma program at the Providence Cancer Center (Oregon, USA) will tell the conference: "Patients with testicular cancer, and, indeed, several other of the more treatable cancers, have great expectations of a cure, but this also imparts an additional responsibility of ensuring that the medical and social consequences of the disease and the cure have a minimum impact.

"We are returning an extra 50-60 years of life to teenagers and young adults who have been treated successfully for cancer. This shifts the emphasis from 'can we cure this disease?' to 'can we retain this near perfect cure rate as well as reducing the short and long term side effects of treatment, minimising the fertility consequences of therapy, reducing the long term risk of a second cancer and metabolic syndrome, and developing pre-emptive strategies for managing psychosocial consequences of cancer and cancer treatment at a young age?'.

"The medical profession and national governments need to develop strategies for meeting this challenge. They need to recognise that care cannot just stop when the patient is cured of the cancer, and that there is a huge cost still to be faced in terms of long-term care and support and in terms of collateral damage. Maximising the chances for good health for the next 50 years of life has very calculable social benefits, and people are beginning to realise this now. This is a fundamental shift."

Nearly three-quarters of children with cancer survive into adulthood,
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
44-077-112-96986
Teenage Cancer Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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