Researchers systematically screened 1700 adults (median age, 32) who were diagnosed with cancer as children. Roughly 25 years after diagnosis, 98% had a chronic health problem. Two thirds had a disabling or life-threatening condition. The most prevalent impairments were pulmonary abnormalities, cardiac problems, endocrine disorders, hearing loss, and neurocognitive impairment. Hematopoietic, hepatic, skeletal, and urinary tract dysfunction were less common.
The authors conclude, “These data underscore the need for clinically focused monitoring, both for conditions that have significant morbidity if not detected and treated early, such as second malignancies and heart disease, and also for those that if remediated can improve quality of life, such as hearing loss and vision deficits.”