Health status of adolescent and young adult cancer survivors


  • The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.



Adolescents and young adults (AYA) ages 15 to 29 years who are diagnosed with cancer are at risk for long-term morbidity and mortality associated with treatment of their cancer and the cancer itself. In this article, the authors describe the self-reported health status of AYA cancer survivors.


The authors examined 2009 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, including demographic characteristics, risk behaviors, chronic conditions, health status, and health care access, among AYA cancer survivors compared with respondents who had no history of cancer.


The authors identified 4054 AYA cancer survivors and 345,592 respondents who had no history of cancer. AYA cancer survivors, compared with respondents who had no history of cancer, reported a significantly higher prevalence of current smoking (26% vs 18%); obesity (31% vs 27%); chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease (14% vs 7%), hypertension (35% vs 29%), asthma (15% vs 8%), disability (36% vs 18%), and poor mental health (20% vs 10%) and physical health (24% vs 10%); and not receiving medical care because of cost (24% vs 15%).


AYA cancer survivors commonly reported adverse behavioral, medical, and health care access characteristics that may lead to poor long-term medical and psychosocial outcomes. Increased adherence to established follow-up guidelines may lead to improved health among AYA cancer survivors. Cancer 2012. © 2012 American Cancer Society.