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Childhood cancer survivors face mounting health risks in midlife

Gregory Armstrong, MD

The latest results from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study reinforce the importance of lifelong health care for adult survivors of childhood cancer. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital investigators led the study.

The research found that as childhood cancer survivors approach middle age their risk of severe health problems increases. Survivors ages 35 and older were five times more likely than their siblings to have had a severe or life-threatening health condition. The problems included heart disease, stroke and new cancers.

“Survivors remain at risk for serious health problems into their 40s and 50s, decades after they have completed treatment for childhood cancer,” said Gregory Armstrong, MD, of St. Jude Epidemiology and Cancer Control. “We are working with survivors to help them understand and manage their risk. For many, routine health evaluation and screenings help reduce risk.”

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, are based on survey data from more than 14,000 childhood cancer survivors.

March 17, 2014

Read the news release