Medical News and Perspectives
October 24/31, 2012

Young Adult Cancer Survivors Face Barriers to Receiving Primary Care

JAMA. 2012;308(16):1618-1619. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.14197

Even though adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors are at risk of developing chronic health conditions from chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery received during cancer treatment, a recent study suggests these individuals face substantial barriers to receiving ongoing health care.

The study, released September 24, found that 79% of AYA cancer survivors have health insurance, but they are 67% more likely than adolescents and young adults without cancer to avoid routine medical care, such as screening, because of its cost. About 22% of AYA cancer survivors reported not having a primary care clinician, 40% reported not having a routine medical visit in the past year, and 34% said they had forgone medical care in the past year because of costs (Kirchhoff AC et al. Cancer. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27537 [published online September 24, 2012]).

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