4/5 of children and adolescents with cancer survive 5 years with most being cured

Provision of healthcare to the adult survivor of childhood cancer, or any cancer for that matter, is a conundrum as the cancer itself is no longer of primary concern; however the potential for late effects and the possibility of fatal outcomes secondary to the therapies used to cure continue across the life of the survivor.

One thing, however, is certain: EDUCATION of survivors and frontline healthcare providers specific to treatment-based risk of late effects is paramount if these lives-gained are to be well cared for [and] full of hope and confidence with regard to the future.

Reality:

  • 1 in 350 individuals will develop cancer by the age of 20 in the United States
  • 80% of pediatric cancer patients will survive at least 5 years with MOST being cured and living well into adulthood
  • 1 in 570 individuals 20-34 years of age are survivors of childhood and adolescent cancers
  • Pediatric cancer differs from other pediatric conditions because previous therapy affects future health.*
  • 70% of individuals treated b/t 1970 and 1986 report at least 1 chronic health condition
  • Greater than 40% report at least 2 chronic conditions, one of which is considered a life-threatening condition
  • 24% report 3 or more chronic conditions
  • Only ¼ report no evidence of a chronic health condition
*Note: The same is true for survivors of adult cancers as individuals are being diagnosed at younger and younger ages, and thus, living long enough to appreciate the impact of cancer therapy on their personal health and wellbeing.

Given this reality, healthcare focused on individual treatment-based risk assessment, screening, prevention, early intervention, and effective management across the life of the survivor is of great import.

Informational resources need to be readily available in a form that individual survivors will tap into, is user friendly, and not frightening or alienating as they investigate, learn, question, and seek to protect their health and wellbeing within the context of their own unique medical history. 

History Matters: Know your Risk, Carry it WELL.