Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Survivors Of Childhood Cancer Less Likely To Marry

Date:
October 8, 2009
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
Childhood cancer survivors typically suffer from the long-term effects of cancer treatment on physical health, and results of a new study suggest that social implications also exist, which may affect their chance of an "I do" at the altar.

Childhood cancer survivors typically suffer from the long-term effects of cancer treatment on physical health, and results of a new study suggest that social implications also exist, which may affect their chance of an "I do" at the altar.

Survivors are 20 to 25 percent more likely "to never marry" compared with siblings and the general population, according to findings published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"Many childhood cancer survivors still struggle to fully participate in our society because of the lasting cognitive and physical effects of their past cancer therapy," said lead researcher Nina S. Kadan-Lottick, M.D., M.S.P.H., assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center, and medical director of the Health Education, Research & Outcomes for Survivors (HEROS) Clinic for childhood cancer survivors.

Using data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, a retrospective cohort of more than 10,000 childhood cancer survivors (who are now adults) treated at 26 institutions around the country, Kadan-Lottick and colleagues evaluated the frequency of marriage and divorce rates among survivors compared with their sibling group and U.S. Census data. The Childhood Cancer Survivor Study is an ongoing study funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers distributed surveys to participants to determine late outcomes of therapy, medical problems, subsequent cancers, psychosocial functioning and other aspects of survivorship, according to the researchers. They identified patients and treatment factors that may predict marital status, including psychosocial distress and neurocognitive impairment.

"Our study pinpointed what aspects of the survivor experience likely contribute to altered marriage patterns: short stature, poor physical functioning and cognitive problems," said Kadan-Lottick. "These conditions are known to be associated with certain chemotherapy and radiation exposures."

Results showed that an estimated 42 percent of survivors were married, 7.3 percent were separated or divorced and 46 percent were never married.

Those who survived brain tumors were 50 percent more likely never to marry. Survivors of central nervous system tumors and leukemia had the greatest likelihood of never marrying, according to the study. Cranial radiation was the therapy most associated with not getting married.

Likelihood of divorce did not vary between the study populations.

"While it can be debated whether marriage is a desirable outcome, marriage is generally an expected developmental goal in our society to the extent that most U.S. adults are married by the age of 30. Our results suggest that survivors of childhood cancer need ongoing support even as they enter adulthood," Kadan-Lottick suggested.

Electra D. Paskett, Ph.D., who was not involved with the study, but is a deputy editor of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, said these findings shed light on the use of certain treatments and their long-term implications, which may affect a patient's physical appearance, thereby resulting in social effects.

"In other studies marital status has been found to be a significant predictor of survival. Will we see this among the childhood survivors as well?" asked Paskett, who is the Marion N. Rowley professor of cancer research in the Division of Epidemiology, and associate director for population sciences in The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

As a follow-up to this report, separate analyses are underway to better understand factors that contribute to other adult benchmarks among childhood cancer survivors, such as living independently, achieving higher education and income. The National Institutes of Health funded this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research. "Survivors Of Childhood Cancer Less Likely To Marry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008073308.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2009, October 8). Survivors Of Childhood Cancer Less Likely To Marry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008073308.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Survivors Of Childhood Cancer Less Likely To Marry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008073308.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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