Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy
Health profiles in 5836 long-term cancer survivors
Article first published online: 23 JAN 2003
Copyright © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
International Journal of Cancer
Volume 104, Issue 4, pages 488–495, 20 April 2003
How to Cite
Schultz, P. N., Beck, M. L., Stava, C. and Vassilopoulou-Sellin, R. (2003), Health profiles in 5836 long-term cancer survivors. Int. J. Cancer, 104: 488–495. doi: 10.1002/ijc.10981
- Issue published online: 7 FEB 2003
- Article first published online: 23 JAN 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 NOV 2002
- Manuscript Revised: 20 NOV 2002
- Manuscript Received: 23 MAY 2002
- adult cancer;
- late effects;
Increasingly, prolonged survival follows the diagnosis of cancer. Cancer therapies result in complex and lasting health effects that create unique health-care needs for the survivors but are poorly understood (especially in survivors of adult cancers). Cancer survivors were asked to respond to a mailed health survey and provide medical and social information pertaining to their cancer experience. Information about demographics and perceived disease-related medical problems was analyzed. We analyzed the response of 5,836 survivors of adult cancers. Two-thirds of the responses came from women, and the response rate was 51% in both sexes. The mean interval since cancer diagnosis was 18.0 ± 8.5 years. Younger survivors and men were more likely to report that cancer had affected their health. The health effect most commonly reported by survivors was arthritis/osteoporosis (26% of respondents). Survivors of Hodgkin's disease prominently reported thyroid and lung problems (33.8% of responders with the diagnosis). Prior diagnosis of lymphoma was associated with frequent mention of memory loss (14.7%). The passage of time decreased some perceived effects (memory loss) but increased others (arthritis/osteoporosis, cataracts). Compared with the general population, the incidence of several age- and gender-adjusted health conditions in cancer survivors is different. This group of cancer survivors reported generally good health but outlined multiple lasting medical problems. The health survey described represents 1 approach to the development of comprehensive information about the health needs of cancer survivors. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.