One of the biggest challenges we face as AYA cancer patients and survivors is getting our voice heard. If we’re treated in pediatric settings, communication is often directed to our parents or guardians, so we often lack the opportunity to speak out. If we’re treated in adult settings, we aren’t always prepared with the communication and negotiation skills to be able to speak out, even though we may be given the space to do so. We’re in this strange no-man’s-land.
Tag Archives: long term effects
One day last week, I came home from work and spent the evening relaxing until my fiancé came home (he’s a chef so he came home about 6 hours after me)…I was just sitting on the couch watching something on Netflix when he walked in the door with a totally annoyed, borderline angry look on his face. I assumed maybe he had had a bad day at work, but instead he proceeded to scold me for leaving my keys in the lock of the front door. “Luckily we live in a safe building but you can’t do that Clarissa, you have to pay more attention!” My honest response: “I literally had no idea I had done it and had 100% remembered bringing them in with me, sorry!”
Estimates of the overall 5-year survival rates for childhood cancers have steadily increased since the 1970s and are currently over 80% . While increased survival rates are promising, cancer treatments don’t just kill cancer cells, they also kill normal healthy tissue cells. Thus, individuals diagnosed with cancer as children (ages 0-19 years) have an increased risk of adverse health and quality of life outcomes compared to individuals of the same age without a cancer history. The goal of our recent study published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention is to update the estimates of the number of childhood cancer survivors living in the U.S. and to understand what these survivors look like in terms of, not only their chronic disease burden, but also their cognitive and physical functioning, mental health and quality of life. The motivation behind this was to be able to really shed some light on the magnitude of the issues affecting this population and stimulate future research to figure out how to help prevent or delay the onset of the problems they face.