After Neuroblastoma, Chronic Problems Often Await

Survivors are found to have more health and social issues years later

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FRIDAY, July 31, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- Adult survivors of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma face long-term health and social problems, according to a new study.

Canadian researchers examined data on 954 people who had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma -- a cancer that forms in the nerve tissues -- between 1970 and 1986, comparing it with data on 3,899 siblings of children with cancer. Twenty years later, the cancer survivors were eight times more likely to have chronic health conditions, less likely to be married and more likely to have lower incomes than the sibling group, the researchers found.

The chronic health conditions included neurological, endocrine, sensory and musculoskeletal complications.

"Results of the current study are quite relevant and underscore the need for close surveillance and lifelong follow-up to ameliorate potential medical and psychosocial late effects," wrote Dr. Caroline Laverdiere, of the Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal, and her colleagues. "Future researchers should build on these data and investigate risk factors for long-term complications of neuroblastoma treatment and second malignant neoplasms."

The study was published online July 31 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about neuroblastoma.

SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, news release, July 31, 2009

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