HealthDay News — A substantial number of adult childhood cancer survivors are unconcerned about their future health and subsequent cancer risks, according to a study published online June 25 in Cancer.
Todd M. Gibson, Ph.D., from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and colleagues compared levels of self-reported concern about future health and subsequent cancer in 15,620 adult survivors of childhood cancer (median age, 26 years; median time since diagnosis, 17 years) and 3,991 siblings participating in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.
The researchers found that 31 percent of survivors were not concerned about their future health and that 40 percent were not concerned about developing cancer. The prevalence of concern for future health was modestly higher in survivors than siblings (relative risk [RR], 1.12; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.09 to 1.15), and the prevalence of concern for subsequent cancer was similar (RR, 1.02; 95 percent CI, 0.99 to 1.05). Among survivors exposed to high doses of radiation (≥20 Gy), concern for future health was higher (RR, 1.13; 95 percent CI, 1.09 to 1.16), as was concern for subsequent cancer (RR, 1.14; 95 percent CI, 1.1 to 1.18). However, 35 percent of these high-risk survivors were not concerned about developing cancer and 24 percent were not concerned about their future health.
“These survivors may be less likely to engage in beneficial screening and risk-reduction activities,” the authors write.