Childhood Cancer Victims Not Followed Closely Enough

Screening for cancer in adulthood is too low, study finds

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MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Adult survivors of childhood cancer are not screened enough for cancer, says a University of Minnesota study in the Dec. 15 online issue of Cancer.

The study of 9,434 young adult survivors of childhood cancer and 2,667 of their siblings found the levels of cancer screening for those survivors are below those recommended for the general population.

Among female survivors: 27.3 percent reported performing regular breast self-exams; 78.2 percent had a Pap test in the past three years; 62.4 percent had a clinical breast exam within the last year; and 20.9 percent had at least one mammogram.

The study identified several factors linked to decreased cancer screening among both male and female survivors: lower education level, lack of health insurance, lack of concern for future health, and their age at cancer diagnosis.

The authors say their findings highlight the need to improve awareness of the need for increased screening in this high-risk group and to develop appropriate interventions for use by primary-care physicians.

Over the past several decades, the rate of survival from childhood cancers has increased to the point that eight of 10 children with cancer now survive five years or more. That's created a growing population of cancer survivors with an increased lifetime risk for cancer recurrence or second malignancies.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about cancer screening and testing.

SOURCE: John Wiley & Sons Inc., news release, Dec. 15, 2003


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