Author Affiliation: The Sydney Kimmel Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.
Children with cancer become adults who had cancer. Cancer occurs in
approximately 1 of 300 to 350 young people before age 20 years in the United
States, a seemingly small number compared with the number of adults afflicted
with cancer.1 Yet with 5-year, event-free survival
rates exceeding 75%,2 1 of 500 young adults
(aged 20-35 years) in the United States have had a diagnosis of cancer before
age 20 years. As these individuals become adults, the cancer diagnosis may
recede into the past, but the long-term effects on health and perceived health
status continue into the future. It is not uncommon to speak of curing cancer,
but cure is the restoration of health. While cancer can be eradicated, survivors
must be restored to health that lasts for decades. Five-year survival is only
the beginning, not the end point of successful treatment.
Schwartz CL. Health Status of Childhood Cancer SurvivorsCure Is More Than the Eradication of Cancer. JAMA. 2003;290(12):1641-1643. doi:10.1001/jama.290.12.1641