Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Young Cancer Survivors At Risk For Behaviors That Raise Future Cancer Risk

Date:
January 24, 2007
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
A significant number of young survivors of childhood cancers smoke, are physically inactive and/or don't use sunscreen, according to researchers at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. While these behaviors can be a future cancer risk to adolescents who have not had cancer, they can pose special peril to those who have been treated for the disease, investigators say.

A significant number of young survivors of childhood cancers smoke, are physically inactive and/or don’t use sunscreen, according to researchers at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. While these behaviors can be a future cancer risk to adolescents who have not had cancer, they can pose special peril to those who have been treated for the disease, investigators say.

Related Articles


Their study, published recently in Pediatric Blood & Cancer, samples 75 adolescent cancer survivors whose average age was 14, and found 28 percent reported one of the three risk factors, 12 percent reported two of the three, and 7 percent reported all three. This is among the first studies to look at multiple behavioral risk factors among adolescent cancer survivors.

“Our findings suggest that young survivors need ongoing assistance in dealing with these issues--much as do all children,” said the lead author, Kenneth Tercyak, assistant professor of oncology and pediatrics. “The key difference here is that we believe these survivors are an especially vulnerable population and any lifestyle risk they take may increase their chance of cancer recurrence and/or the onset of chronic disease in adulthood.”

Some of these youths may be especially “stress prone,” and thus more likely to have difficulty protecting their health, Tercyak said. “We have looked within a group of survivors to better understand what might lead some survivors toward risky behaviors, and have found that older children and those with more personal and family stress appear to be at greatest risk,” he said.

The research was conducted through the SHARE (Survivor Health and Resilience Education) Program, a health counseling program offered in cooperation with the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Through the SHARE Program, survivors of childhood cancer received information and counseling about eating healthy, exercising, living well, and other tips to stay healthy. This research was funded by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Cancer survivors are at increased risk for developing cancer for specific reasons, researchers say. For example, skin and lung cancer risk increases if a patient has been treated with radiation as part of treatment, and certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, can weaken lungs, making them more susceptible to future disease.

Young cancer patients are strongly encouraged to follow a healthy lifestyle “in an effort to possibly manage their disease recurrence risk and to help them to continue to lead healthy lives,” Tercyak said. “Their primary disease may be cured, but they remain at increased health risk.”

To find out if these healthy lifestyles were being followed, the researchers surveyed patients between ages 11-21, who were one or more years from treatment and were cancer-free for one or more years. More than one-half of respondents were girls that had been treated for leukemia, and most were white, living in dual parent households in areas with upper middle class incomes, reportedly earning As and Bs in school.

The researchers found that 15 percent of the patients had a history of cigarette use, 20 percent engaged in insufficient physical activity, and 37 percent did not use sun protection as recommended. Patients with these behavioral risk factors tended to be older, had greater symptoms of stress, and reported greater family discord.

These results suggest that because stress may mediate or moderate the health promotion behaviors in this special population, interventions to address personal and family stress levels are warranted, Tercyak said.

Collaborators on the study included Aziza Shad, director of pediatric hematology and oncology at Lombardi and founder of Lombardi’s Late Effects Clinic for Cancer Survivors and Revonda Mosher of Children's National Medical Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Young Cancer Survivors At Risk For Behaviors That Raise Future Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070123182002.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2007, January 24). Young Cancer Survivors At Risk For Behaviors That Raise Future Cancer Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070123182002.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Young Cancer Survivors At Risk For Behaviors That Raise Future Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070123182002.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins