Young adults diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma appear to have a higher risk of dying from the disease than do children and teens.
Eric Tai, M.D., and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, assessed survival information from cancer registries from 1992 to 2001 for 2,442 cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (one of the most common cancers among young adults, affecting the white blood cells). This included 987 children and teens age 19 or younger and 1,455 young adults age 20 to 29.
Even after accounting for the subtype of the disease and the stage at diagnosis, young adults were more likely to die compared with children and adolescents. A total of 87 percent of children and teens survived 24 months compared with 79 percent of young adults, and five-year survival rates were 85 percent for children and teens and 75 percent for young adults.
Overall, "our study showed that non-Hodgkin's lymphoma survival has increased over time, with smaller gains made by young adults compared with children and adolescents," the authors conclude. "Increased survival among patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is dependent on timely and appropriate cancer therapy. Therefore, efforts to address survival should include increasing the number of clinical trials for young adults, encouraging them to enroll in these trials and promoting improved access to care for this population."
The research appears in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
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